Body fat and maturation both influence cardiorespiratory fitness, however few studies have taken these variables into account when using field tests to predict children’s fitness levels. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between two field tests of cardiorespiratory fitness (20 m Maximal Multistage Shuttle Run [20-MST], 550 m distance run [550-m]) and direct measurement of VO2max after adjustment for body fatness and maturity levels. Fifty-three participants (25 boys, 28 girls, age 10.6 ± 1.2 y, mean ± SD) had their body fat levels estimated using bioelectrical impedance (16.6% ± 6.0% and 20.0% ± 5.8% for boys and girls, respectively). Participants performed in random order, the 20-MST and 550-m run followed by a progressive treadmill test to exhaustion during which gas exchange measures were taken. Pearson correlation coefficient analysis revealed that the participants’ performance in the 20-MST and 550-m run were highly correlated to VO2max obtained during the treadmill test to exhaustion (r = 0.70 and 0.59 for 20-MST and 550-m run, respectively). Adjusting for body fatness and maturity levels in a multivariate regression analysis increased the associations between the field tests and VO2max (r = 0.73 for 20-MST and 0.65 for 550-m). We may conclude that both the 20-MST and the 550-m distance run are valid field tests of cardiorespiratory fitness in New Zealand 8-13 year old children and incorporating body fatness and maturity levels explains an additional 5-7% of the variance.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.