Purpose. Body composition and fat distribution is specific for particular populations and social groups. However, one factor that significantly affects body composition is physical activity. The aim of the study was to assess the various components of body composition in male physical education students with regard to their physical activity level. Methods. A detailed questionnaire survey on physical activity was administered to 252 male students. Based on their responses, the participants were placed into two groups engaged in either moderate or vigorous physical activity. Anthropometric measurements included measures of body height and mass and also skinfold thickness. Body composition was assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis. Statistical analysis was performed by comparing the groups’ mean values, standard deviations, and percentages of the components of body composition. Results. The groups did not differ significantly for mean body height and mass. No statistically significant differences were found in the absolute amounts of the various components of body composition (except for fat mass) between the groups. Both groups had 61.5 kg of fat-free mass (constituting 80.6% of body mass for the vigorously active and 78.7% of body mass for the moderately active students) and both had 44 kg of muscle mass (constituting 58.3% and 56.1% of body mass, respectively). Students who declared to be involved in vigorous physical activity had 2 kg less and 2% lower fat mass than those involved in moderate physical activity (based on BIA measurements). Measures of skinfold thickness found more subcutaneous fat tissue in the vigorously active group, but the use of a fat index based on body height found them to present less fat. Conclusions. The difference in fat content between physical education students who were more or less physically active was found to be 2 kg and 2%. The results found that physical activity level was not associated with body height, body mass, and the absolute amounts of the other studied components of body composition.
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”.