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Anthropometric indices and physical fitness in university undergraduates with different physical activity


, : Anthropometric indices and physical fitness in university undergraduates with different physical activity. Anthropologischer Anzeiger; Bericht Uber die Biologisch-Anthropologische Literatur 59(2): 157-163

Physical activity and fitness have important health promoting effects with respect to arterosclerosis and coronary heart disease in particular. An intervention study of physical status and physical activity in university undergraduates (University of Tartu) has been carried out. The physically inactive (Group I) consisted of 310 undergraduates (235 females and 75 males) of the Faculty of Medicine. The physically active (Group II) was recruited from among undergraduates (22 females and 23 males) of the Faculty of Exercise and Sport Sciences, who participated in training sessions regularly, 3 to 5 times per week. Anthropometric body measurements, arm force, vital capacity and exercise test on the bicycle ergometer (PWC170) were performed. There were no statistically significant differences between the mean values of anthropometric indices in case of physically inactive and physically active female subjects. In the group of physically active male undergraduates, weight and shoulder width were larger than in students with physically sedentary life style (p < 0.05). Most of the female and male students had normal BMI. There were statistically significant differences in the mean values of vital capacity, arm force and aerobic working capacity between the study groups, while physically active students had higher physical capacity (p < 0.001). Mean anthropometric indices demonstrated a statistically significant increase in both female and male university undergraduates after the interval of 30 years. Normal BMI and anthropometric indices do not serve a as guarantee of physical fitness for university undergraduates who are involved in sedentary life style. Regular physical activity has a strong positive impact on physical fitness, particularly on aerobic capacity which is the most important health promoting component of physical fitness with respect to coronary heart disease.

US$29.90

PMID: 11441454


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