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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Mar 09

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12203-0


language: English

Is physical fitness associated with the type of attended school? A cross-sectional analysis among 20.000 adolescents

Martine DUCLOS 1, 2, 3, Philippe LACOMME 4, Celine LAMBERT 5, Bruno PEREIRA 5, Libo REN 6, Gerard FLEURY 4, Hervé OVIGNEUR 7, Thibault DESCHAMPS 7, Nicole FEARNBACH 8, Jérémy VANHELST 9, 10, Jean-François TOUSSAINT 11, David THIVEL 2, 12

1 Department of Sport Medicine and Functional Explorations, University-Hospital (CHU), G.Montpied Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand, Clermont-Ferrand, France; 2 INRA, UMR 1019, UNH, CRNH Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France; 3 UFR Médecine, BP 10448, Clermont University, University of Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France; 4 LIMOS-UMR 6158, Campus des Cézeaux, Aubière, France; 5 Department of Biostatistics, University Teaching Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand, Clermont-Ferrand, France; 6 Clermont University, University of Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France; 7 Diagnoform, IRFO, Hauts-De-France, France; 8 Pennington Biomedical Research Center Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, LA, USA; 9 U1286 - INFINITE - Institute for Translational Research in Inflammation,University of Lille, Inserm, CHU Lille, Lille, France; 10 Clinical Investigation Center, University of Lille, Inserm, CHU Lille, CIC 1403, Lille, France; 11 CIMS, Hôtel-Dieu, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, IRMES, INSEP, Université Paris-Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris,Paris, France; 12 EA 3533, Laboratory of the Metabolic Adaptations to Exercise under Physiological and Pathological Conditions (AME2P), Clermont-Ferrand, France

BACKGROUND: While academic achievement has been associated with physical activity, the present work questions the potential association between the physical fitness level of adolescents and the type of school they attend, ranging from academic to technical schools.
METHODS: 20,228 young French students from 76 schools (9,196 females), mean age 15.8±1.8 years, performed the Diagnoform© test. This dataset includes two higher education institutions (n=870), 37 general high schools (n=13,125), 18 professional-oriented high schools (n=3,569), 5 agricultural high schools (n=132), 2 vocational training centers (n=202) and 12 rural vocational training centers (n=1,137).
RESULTS: In higher education institutions and general high schools, girls showed better performances for all physical tests. A decreasing Quotient of overall Physical fitness Condition (QPC) was observed for both genders from urban higher education schools to rural and technical institutions (p<0.001). The proportion of total variance accounting for within institution variation is strong (intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) 0.20 [0.15; 0.27] for QPC).
CONCLUSIONS: The lower physical fitness level observed here among students from technical or training schools places them at higher risks for the development of future chronic diseases. These results suggest that specific interventions are needed depending on the educational setting.

KEY WORDS: Cardiorespiratory fitness; Muscular fitness; Adolescents; Health; Academic achievement; Type of schools

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