The associations between physical fitness and measures of adiposity in Norwegian 15-year olds
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Introduction: Adiposity increases risk of developing several chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease – the leading cause of death worldwide. While these diseases usually manifest in adulthood, development of metabolic risk factors may start already in childhood. An inverse relation between fitness and adiposity has been observed in other young populations, but has not been thoroughly investigated in Norwegian youth. Aim: The overall purpose of this study was to evaluate the associations between physical fitness and measures of adiposity in Norwegian 15-year olds. Methods: A total of 986 15-year olds (477 girls) were included in the analysis, recruited from schools located from all over Norway. The fitness tests included in this part of the study were aerobic capacity (VO2max) and handgrip strength. The measures of adiposity consisted of BMI, waist circumference and sum of 4 skinfolds. Multiple linear regression was used to find the associations between the variables. Results: The adjusted models in the analyses show that both aerobic fitness (VO2max) and handgrip strength are inversely associated to all the measures of adiposity in this study. Physical fitness explains more of the variation in adiposity (R2) among young males, as compared to females. Conclusion: Physical fitness associate inversely to adiposity measures, which is adding value to the importance of fitness for health. This could inform future interventions to target physical fitness in order to prevent early onset of coronary heart disease.
Masteroppgave - Norges idrettshøgskole, 2020