Introduction: To develop sex- and age-specific percentile curves for seven physical fitness components for Chinese Han children and adolescents aged 7–18 years based on the total and the normal weight population using a nationally representative sample.
Methods: A total of 214,228 Chinese Han children and adolescents aged 7–18 years old with all nutritional status and 161,999 with normal weight were examined. Seven physical fitness components [forced vital capacity (FVC), standing long jump (SLJ), 50-m dash, sit-and-reach (SR), grip strength (GS), body muscle strength (BMS), and endurance running (ER)] were measured, and percentile curves for each physical fitness component at the 20th, 40th, 60th, and 80th percentiles were calculated using the general additive model for location, scale, and shape (GAMLSS).
Results: Physical fitness presents different characteristics in each subgroup of sex, age, and nutritional status among children and adolescents. Sex- and age-specific percentiles for the seven physical fitness components among the Chinese Han children and adolescents aged 7–18 years based on the total and the normal weight population were provided as curves. Boys performed better than girls in FVC, SLJ, 50-m dash, GS, and ER but worse in SR. The performances of FVC, SLJ, 50-m dash, GS, BMS, and ER increased with age, but the estimates of SR were at the bottom among boys aged 12 years and girls aged 11 years. The annual increments of all components were larger in boys than girls at the peak time, which was earlier in girls than boys. The gap of physical fitness components between sexes increased with age, especially during puberty (since after 11 years old).
Conclusion: The present study described the percentile curves of seven physical fitness components among the Chinese Han children and adolescents based on the total and the normal weight population at the national level, which could help to chart the level of physical fitness across age span and identify the extreme populations with either health concerns or potential talents.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- children and adolescents
- normal weight population
- physical fitness
- sex difference