n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - The relationship between anthropometric characteristics and physical fitness of socially disadvantaged South African boys : anthropometry

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


This study investigated the relationship between anthropometric characteristics and physical fitness profile of socially disadvantaged South African boys. Three hundred and sixty boys between the aged 7-18 years were randomly selected from schools in an informal settlement in Cape Town to participate in the research. The participants were categorised into "under thirteen" and "thirteen and older" groups. These categories were used to establish whether differences existed in the relationships between anthropometric and fitness characteristics of pre- and post-pubescent boys. Twenty anthropometric measurements consisting of height, girths, skinfolds and breadths, were taken on each participant. Skinfold measurements were further used to determine body composition and somatotypes values. The following physical fitness components were included in the assessment: flexibility (sit-and-reach test), grip strength (hand grip dynamometer), leg power (standing long jump), speed (50m-sprint test), and cardiovascular endurance (3-minute step test). The relationship between anthropometric status and fitness characteristics was determined by means of a stepwise discriminant analysis. The analysis of the relationship between anthropometric and physical fitness showed that height and weight were strong predictors of fitness parameters, especially strength, speed and leg power. The results of this study confirm the influence of reduced body dimensions on the fitness of children, especially in developing countries.

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