Physical performance testing is required in Turkey on entry to undergraduate study in physical education (PE). However, there is no standard test battery across academic institutions. This investigation compared a laboratory cardiorespiratory (CR) fitness evaluation with field testing in a convenient group of first year students at an accredited undergraduate PE program. Twelve apparently healthy athletic male undergraduate PE students (mean age=19.5, SD=1.5) individually performed laboratory cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), the Cooper 12-minute Run (C12RT) and the Shuttle Run (SRT) field tests one week apart. Body composition including detailed segmental analysis was also assessed with a Full Body BIA Analyzer. The mean CPET V02 max was 64.21 ml/kg/min (SD=7.3) with a superior age-gender fitness classification (>55 ml/kg/min; >95th percentile). Both the C12RT (Mean=59.54 ml/kg/min, SD=7.1) and SRT (Mean=60.67 ml/kg/min, SD=3.8) correlated with CPET (p<0.05). The mean Mass of Body Fat and Body Fat% was 10.9, SD=2.4, and 16%, SD=2.8 respectively. The mean Lean Body Mass was 56.76 kg, SD=6.8. The field tests were valid and practical methods of measuring CR fitness in this sample group. PE teachers can positively influence students by modeling an active lifestyle to promote physical fitness. The identification of an approved comprehensive physical performance test battery for PE programs in Turkey may provide an opportunity for benchmarking across academic institutions.
Increased childhood obesity and diabetes is a national concern within the US and this has raised questions about the way in which school systems have traditionally structured physical education (PE) programs. This study investigated the feasibility of using the Polar TriFIT System as part of an initiative to assess the health-related fitness (HRF) of children participating in a middle and high school PE program. Measures of HRF (cardiovascular, muscular, flexibility & body composition) were assessed with the Polar TriFIT System in 4350 students aged 9-18 years (52% boys) from 20 schools in Fargo, North Dakota over a 2-year period (2004-2005). TriFIT is a self-contained multi-station computerized assessment device with customized software designed to quantify and track measures of HRF and generate individual or group progress reports. In this preliminary analysis, height and weight were obtained to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI) scores. Nineteen percent of the boys and 9% of the girls were considered to be overweight according values determined by International Obesity Task Force. The Polar Tri-FIT System appears to be a feasible method of effectively assessing measures of HRF in a time efficient manner during a school PE program. Further analysis of the data will provide a more comprehensive description of the levels HRF in this population. This method of assessment could assist school PE programs in the delivery of HRF interventions.