Last update:


Arch Hellen Med, 32(6), November-December 2015, 732-742


Normative values for physical fitness of Greek boys and girls aged 6–18 years

K. Tambalis,1,2 D. Panagiotakos,1 G. Psarra,1 S. Daskalakis,3 N. Geladas,2 S. Tokmakidis,4 L. Sidossis1,5
1Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens,
2Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,
3Directorate of Physical Education, Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs, Athens,
4Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, Dimokritio University, Komotini, Greece,
5Department of Internal Medicine and Shriners Hospital for Children, University of Texas, Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas, USA

OBJECTIVE To establish updated normative values of physical fitness in Greek children aged 6 to 18 years for the following measures: 20 m shuttle run, standing long jump, sit-and-reach, 10×5 m shuttle run and sit-ups, and to compare percentiles and z-scores values.

METHOD The study was conducted in a representative nationwide sample from March to May 2014. Measurements were made on a total of 473,665 children (51% boys) aged 6 to 18 years. The physical fitness tests were performed and used to calculate normative values by age and sex, using the percentiles of the empirical distributions and the lambda-mu-sigma (LMS) statistical method.

RESULTS The normative values of the measurements in the physical fitness tests were presented as tabulated percentiles (P) from 3 to 97 (P3, P10, P25, P50, P75, P90, P97) and smoothed curves. Boys scored better than girls on cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance and speed/agility, while girls had better performances on flexibility (p<0.001 on all tests). The older boys and girls showed better scores than younger children (p<0.001). Physical fitness test performances tended to peak at around the age of 15 years in both genders. Data analysis revealed no significant differences between critical and LMS percentiles for all physical fitness tests in both genders.

CONCLUSIONS The data presented here are the most up-to-date sex and age values of health-related fitness of children and adolescents in Greece and can be used as standard values for health and fitness screening and surveillance systems in this country. They also make a valuable contribution to the worldwide literature on physical fitness values in children and adolescents.

Key words: Children, Normative values, Physical fitness.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine