Janz et al (2000) examined several different areas: body composition, sexual maturation, aerobic physical fitness, muscular fitness, and physical activity. All of the data analysis was stratified by gender. The data from year 1 of the study was compared to the data of year 5 using a Wilcoxon signed rank test, to determine if there were changes over time. Fitness and physical activity were measured two different ways. First, the Spearman rank correlation coefficients were calculated to determine how well year five results were predicted in year one. Second, they were categorized into tertiles. The statistical significance of tracking the tertiles was assessed using Kendall’s tau-b. The subjects received one yearly physical examination for five years, and they received a total of 20 examinations, four per year, to assess physical activity and body composition.
Janz et al (2000) examined the results from the 5-year study and discovered that, mean body mass, height, and fat free mass increased each year for both boys and girls. By year four, 42% of the boys were in post or late puberty (mean age 13.8yr), and by year five, 75% of the girls were in late or post puberty (mean age 14.2yr). Peak VO2 was significantly greater (p < 0.05) in year one than year five for the boys and girls, with girls being two times greater than boys were. There were no significant differences in peak HR from year one to year five. Peak O2 pulse increased from year one to year five in both boys and girls. The Spearman correlation between variables assessed at year five compared to year one generally showed a decline in the strength of the association over the 5-year time period. The correlation was used to determine the tracking predictability. In boys and girls, peak power, peak grip strength, and peak VO2 showed the highest degree of tracking. In boys, the peak power and peak grip had correlation ranges from 0.68 to 0.90. Peak VO2, peak HR, peak O2 pulse. Girl’s results were similar with a few exceptions. Peak power and peak grip showed the highest degree of tracking with correlation range from 0.52 to 0.80.
The results that were compiled by Janz et al (2000) demonstrated important information in regard to the predictability and tracking of physical fitness and both vigorous and sedentary activity. These variables were shown to be stable and very capable of being tracked from childhood to adolescence. The study indicated that boys tend to settle into fitness and activity patterns sooner than girls do. The fact that sedentary activity was stable throughout the study seems to warrant that there should be early intervention for females. This study clearly indicated that certain variables associated with physical fitness and physical activity can be accurately tracked from childhood to adolescence.
Caterino and Polak (1993) conducted a study on the effects that three types of activity have on performance on a test of concentration among fourth grade children. This study was an experimental study used to further investigate the benefits of physical activity. The researchers believed that by conducting the study they would show that physical activity at worst, had no detrimental impact towards concentration.
Caterino and Polak’s (1993) experiment was a one-day study in which 60 fourth grade students were randomly assigned to three separate treatment groups. The three groups were a recess group, (n=19) passive activity group, (n=20) and physical activity group (n=21).
According to Caterino and Polak (1993), the experiment took place immediately after lunch. The subjects reported to their assigned groups, and for the next 15 minutes they participated in their groups’ assigned activity. The recess group was allowed to play freely as normal. The passive group viewed a Garfield videotape in the library, while the physical activity group engaged in 15-minutes of stretching and aerobic walking. At the end of the 15-minute period all three treatments reported to an all-purpose room and took the Woodcock-Johnson (1989) test of concentration.
Caterino and Polak (1993) indicated that data collected from an ANOVA showed that there were no significant differences between the three treatments. However, it did show that there were significant differences between fourth grade males and females (p < .02), in favor of females. The fact that there were no differences between the three groups indicates that there is no reason to worry about the time that physical education is scheduled in regards to the curriculum. The report of the differences between the males and females show that there needs to be further research to determine what extent the independent factors of academic ability test taking ability and the ability to concentrate had on the test results. While there were no significant differences, the means of the physical activity group were higher than the other two groups.
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