n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Socioeconomic status, somatic growth and physical fitness of rural South African children : Ellisras Longitudinal Study

Volume 21 Number 3.2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


This study investigated the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) somatic growth and physical fitness (PF) of Ellisras rural children. A cross-sectional study of 1714 children who were part of the Ellisras longitudinal study was undertaken. Anthropometric measurements were taken according to the standard procedures of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry. PF were assessed using the EUROFIT and AAHPERD protocols to determine the physical fitness. Girls were having significant (P<0.05) high mean body weight, subcutaneous fat than boys in each socioeconomic group level. Height (B=0.74 95% CI 0.03 to 1.45), fat mass (B= 0.02 95% CI 0.00 to 0.03) and fat free mass (B=0.01 95% CI 0.00 to 0.02), plate taping (B= -0.04 95% CI -0.07 to -0.02) showed significant (P<0.05) change between the first and second socio economic status after adjusting for age gender and maturation. SES differentiation in somatic growth and to a lesser extend in some physical fitness variables was noted in the of Ellisras rural children. Additional research to verify the relationships over time between lifestyle changes and health outcomes may be vital in this population.

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