Introduction: Despite several studies highlighting differences in aerobic test performance
among age-matched children and adolescents from different countries, little is known
about the geographic variability in children’s performances on tests measuring other fitness
components. By cumulating studies reporting Eurofit data for children and adolescents, the
aim of this study was to describe the variability in fitness test performance among children
and adolescents from different parts of Europe. Methods: Sixty-seven studies reporting on
the Eurofit test performances of healthy European children and adolescents were included in
the analysis. Following corrections for methodological variation where appropriate, all data
for each test were expressed in a common metric. Raw data were combined with pseudodata
generated using Monte Carlo simulation. Performances on each fitness test were expressed
as z-scores relative to all children of the same age and sex from all countries. For each
Eurofit test, sample-weighted mean z-scores were calculated for each country across all
age x sex groups for which data were available. Results: Data were collated on 1,185,656
Eurofit test performances by 7- to 18-year-old Europeans from 23 countries. There was considerable
variability in the mean z-scores among countries, with the variability among countries
differing by test. Overall, the best performing children came from northern and central
European countries (0.3-0.4 standard deviations above the overall European average).
Discussion/ Conclusion: There is evidence that performance was related to socio-cultural
factors, such as the place of exercise and sport in the national psyche.
Copyright / Drug Dosage
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