University Of Tasmania

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Longitudinal associations among cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, motor competence and objectively measured physical activity

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 04:56 authored by Jaakkola, T, Yli-Piipari, S, Huhtiniemi, M, Salin, K, Seppala, S, Hakonen, H, Arto Grasten

Objectives: This study aimed to investigate cross-lagged associations in motor competence, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness and accelerometer-based moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) engagement.

Design: One-year prospective follow-up study.

Method: A sample was 491 (275 girls; M at baseline = 11.27, SD = .32) Finnish physical education students. Students’ motor competence was assessed by 1) two-legged jumping from side to side test, 2) throwing-catching combination test and 3) 5-leaps test. Their cardiorespiratory fitness was analyzed by a 20-meter shuttle run test and muscular fitness by curl-up and push-up tests. Additionally, students’ MVPA was measured objectively by hip-worn accelerometers.

Results: Results demonstrated that: 1) cardiorespiratory fitness measured at Grade 5 was the only significant predictor of later MVPA and this association appeared only in the boys’ group, 2) MVPA assessed at Grade 5 significantly predicted cardiorespiratory fitness in the girls’ group, 3) cardiorespiratory fitness collected at Grade 5 associated with muscular fitness, locomotor and stability skills in both girls and boys, and 4) locomotor skills measured at Grade 5 predicted significantly muscular fitness, locomotor and manipulative skills in both sex groups.

Conclusions: Elementary school years are important in providing students with experiences in physical activity (PA) which leads to improvements s in cardiorespiratory health. Additionally, this 25 study showed that cardiorespiratory fitness collected at Grade 5 associated with later muscular fitness, and locomotor and stability skills in both sex groups. These findings are noteworthy because muscular fitness in youth has several health-related benefits and motor competence in childhood and adolescence has positive association with later PA engagement.


Publication title

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport










Faculty of Education


Elsevier Australia

Place of publication

Dickson, Australia

Rights statement

Copyright 2019 Sports Medicine Australia

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health education and promotion; Behaviour and health