The effect of area of residence on children's health and fitness

Viswanath B. Unnithan, Claire L. Hogan, Paul Langton, Kathryn Holloway, Adrianna Lopez-Doriga

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract

Abstract

The evidence in the literature is equivocal with regard to the effect of area of residence on children's health-and skill-related fitness.
PURPOSE: The aims of the study were: i) To stratify health-and skill-related fitness data of children into high (HSES) and low (LSES) socio-economic status areas and urban (U) vs. rural environments (R) based upon demographic data of the adult population, ii) To compare health-and skill-related fitness data in HSES vs. LSES areas within a metropolitan district of Liverpool, UK (KMBC) and iii). To compare health-and skill-related fitness data in U vs. R areas within KMBC.
METHODS: 1271 male and female children aged between 9 and 10 years from 39 schools in the KMBC district volunteered to take part in the study. All subjects underwent the Eurofit test battery on one occasion. Age (years), stature (cm), body mass (kg), BMI (kg·m-2), and triplicate skinfolds (mm) from bicep (BSF), tricep (TSF), calf (CSF), subscapular (SBSF) and suprailiac (SISF) sites were obtained from each child. Fitness tests included: handgrip (HG), multi stage fitness test (MSFT), plate tapping (PT), speed bounce (SB), standing broad jump (SBJ), shuttle run (SR) and sit and reach test (S&R). One-way ANOVAs were used to compare the fitness variables based upon HSES vs. LSES and U vs. R.
RESULTS: Significant (p<0.05) differences were identified when the data was stratified into HSES and LSES environments. HG (LSES: 15.6 ± 3. 8 kg vs. HSES: 14.9 ± 3.4 kg), SBJ (LSES: 125 ± 0. 19 cm vs. HSES: 131 ± 0.22 cm) and SR (LSES: 21.10 ± 2. 17 s vs. HSES: 20.47 ± 1.77 s). All other comparisons demonstrated no significant differences. Significant (p<0.05) differences were also identified when the data was stratified into U and R environments. TSF (U: 11.8 ± 4. 1 mm vs. R: 12.4 ± 4.4 mm), SBSF (U: 7.5 ± 4. 5 mm vs. R: 8.1 ± 46 mm) and sum of skinfolds (U: 45.4 ± 20. 1 mm vs. R: 48.1 ± 20.7 mm). All other comparisons demonstrated no significant differences.
CONCLUSION: Selected fitness variables appear to be influenced by socio-economic status. The under-pinning mechanisms responsible for these differences warrant further investigation. The lack of street connectivity, absence of centres of activity and lack of sports facilities may be responsible for the greater adiposity seen in the individuals from rural environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S461-S461
Number of pages1
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Volume40
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes

    Fingerprint

Cite this