Effects of physical fitness on waist circumference in a group of school children living in Southern Italy

Domenico Martone, Luca Russomando, Francesca Gallè, Valeria Gallarato, Caterina Mancusi, Roberto Mastronuzzi, Giuliana Valerio, Giorgio Liguori, Pasqualina Buono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Physical fitness (PF) is considered an important health marker already in youth with positive influence on adult health. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of overweight/obesity on most relevant health-related physical fitness (HRPF) components in a group of school-age children.

Methods: One hundred and thirteen children (49 male; 64 female; 11–13 years) living in Naples were recruited for the study. Height, weight, waist circumference (WC) and Body Mass Index (BMI) were measured. Physical activity (PA) level and sedentary time were determined by a standard 7-day recall questionnaire. HRPF components were evaluated using EUROFIT-test battery and other validated tests.

Results: Overweight/obesity accounted for 32 % in our sample. PA level was significantly higher in boys than in girls and was associated with better performance in several PF tests in boys. Further, boys had a significant higher performance than girls in almost all HRPF evaluated (p 

Conclusions: This study confirms an inverse relationship between overweight/obesity and PF. In particular, high WC values appeared to be strongly associated with poor aerobic performance in boys. Our results also suggest that the ½ mile run–walk test represents a useful test to identify children with a higher cardio-metabolic risk as represented by high abdominal adiposity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalSport Sciences for Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Body weight
  • Health-related physical fitness
  • Physical activity
  • Physical fitness
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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