Italian physical fitness decline: A true fact or a mindset? a 10-year observational perspective study

Nicola Lovecchio, Matteo Giuriato, Vittoria Carnevale Pellino, Francesca Valarani, Roberto Codella, Matteo Vandoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evidence regarding a putative physical fitness decline remains less well documented for Italian children and adolescents. An update review of data collection articles was undertaken concerning motor performances (power, strength, speed-agility and indirect cardiorespiratory fitness) of children and adolescents worldwide and compared with 2859 11–12-year-old Italian students of both sexes, throughout a ten-year observational period. Lower limb explosive strength (standing broad jump), flexibility (sit-and-reach), endurance (Cooper) and speed (SP-30) performances of sixth grade Italian students showed nearly stable trends, with no differences during the observed decade, in both sexes. This 10-year perspective study confirmed that Italian physical fitness levels flatlined rather than actually declined. According to these study data, the decline in physical fitness of the Italian youth is ostensible and needs a further in-depth analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8008
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Motor performance
  • Motor skills
  • Physical fitness decline
  • Youth performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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