Dr Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, PhD

Iowa State University, Fitnessgram® consultant
Development and Evaluation of Physical Fitness Standards for Hungarian Youth: Lessons from FITNESSGRAM®
18 September 2014, 11:00 – 12:20

The Hungarian National Youth Fitness Study was designed to directly evaluate the utility of FITNESSGRAM® standards and items in Hungarian youth. A unique aspect of the design is that it included both laboratory and field based assessments of fitness.
The first part of this presentation will focus on laboratory data and will provide an overview of metabolic syndrome status of the Hungarian sample and the details regarding the cross-validation analyses used for both aerobic fitness and body composition FITNESSGRAM® standards. The results support the predictive utility of the existing FITNESSGRAM® health-related standards for both aerobic fitness and body composition but relationships were stronger for the aerobic capacity measure than for body composition. Even though these standards were developed in U.S. youth, they have utility for detecting health risk in Hungarian youth.
The second part of the presentation focus on the field data and present supporting evidence that both aerobic capacity and body composition methods can provide accurate values of their respective fitness components in Hungarian youth. Measured VO2 in the lab was compared with estimated VO2 measured in the field using the PACER test. We found that error at the individual level associated with PACER estimates is still considerable; however, these estimates can still provide accurate indicators of aerobic capacity levels in groups of individuals. Analogous comparisons between alternative measures of body composition indicated that the Omron overestimates %fat in boys compared to the InBody device with the highest individual error evident in younger boys with lower levels of free fat mass (FFM). The agreement between the two devices was stronger in girls. Overall, the findings support the utility of the field-based measures for use in school testing but it is important to acknowledge that they provide estimates of more objective laboratory values.
The last set of material of the presentation will focus on field-based assessments of musculoskeletal fitness and describe the procedures used to developed standards for muscle strength and muscle power. We will share field data collected on grip strength and long jump in the Hungarian sample. The lack of a health-related criterion measure for muscle strength/power makes it difficult to establish a definitive health-related standard based on these tests. We used a normative-referenced approach and applied quantile regression techniques to develop age- and gender-specific norm-referenced standards that can be used in the Hungarian population. The norms presented provide the basis for the determination of the proposed age and sex specific standards for national Hungary assessments.