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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Jun 28

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12643-X


language: English

Relationships between sports club participation and physical fitness and body mass index in childhood

Alexis BARBRY 1, 2 , Annie CARTON 3, Hervé OVIGNEUR 2, Jérémy COQUART 1, 4

1 Centre des Transformations des Activités Physiques et Sportives, Université de Rouen-Normandie, Rouen, France; 2 L’Institut des Rencontres de la Forme, Wattignies, France; 3Laboratoire Sociologie, Histoire, Education, Représentations des Pratiques et Activités Sportives, Université d’Artois, Liévin, France; 4 ULR 7369 - URePSSS-Unité de Recherche Pluridisciplinaire Sport Santé Société, Université de Lille, Université d'Artois, Université de Littoral Côte d'Opale, Lille, France


BACKGROUND: Physical fitness (PF) is a powerful determinant of health. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between sports club (SC) participation and PF, and body mass index (BMI) in children.
METHODS: The population included 15,625 children (8,029 boys and 7,596 girls) 5 to 10 years old divided into three aged groups. PF was assessed with the Diagnoform® Kid from 5 tests measuring different components: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, speed, coordination, agility and flexibility. BMI was calculated. SC participation was documented. The sports were classified into four categories based on the educational goal (C1, C2, C3, C4). The relationships between sex, age, BMI class and SC participation were tested.
RESULTS: The children who practiced in SC had better PF than those who did not. C1 (track and field, swimming, triathlon and cycling) and C4 (team, combat and racket sports) sports seemed to be associated with a better PF.
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that SC participation may be an element for building health. Preventive healthcare projects for SC dropouts (obese children and girls) are needed.

KEY WORDS: Physical fitness; Sports club participation; BMI class; Sex; Physical activity; Children

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