CENTER FACULTY EXAMINE CARDIORESPIRATORY FITNESS AMONG MIDDLE SCHOOL CHILDREN

In an article published in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (2010, Vol 81 (3), S65-S74), the study examined the associations between self-esteem, depression, physical self-concept, and body satisfaction on meeting the FITNESSGRAM(r) healthy fitness zone (HFZ) for body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness of 1,022 adolescents. After controlling for socioeconomic status, there were no differences between girls in the body composition HFZ and those who were not for the psychosocial variable whereas boys in the body composition HFZ reported having greater endurance and were more satisfied with their bodies than boys not in the HFZ. For cardiorespiratory fitness, the girls in the HFZ reported higher levels of self-esteem, lower levels of depression, rated themselves as being stronger, more flexible, and as having greater endurance than girls not in the HFZ. Boys in the HFZ rated themselves as being stronger, having greater endurance, and being more satisfied with their bodies than boys not in the HFZ. This study demonstrates that the benefits of being physically fit are not limited to the physical domain, but extend into the psychological as well.