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This study examined the association between physical activity (PA), physical fitness, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among school-aged children.
Participants were 201 children (91 boys, 110 girls; Mage = 9.82) enrolled in one school in the southern US. Students’ PA (self-reported PA, pedometer-based PA) and physical fitness (cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness, flexibility, and body composition) were assessed in the fall. The PedsQL4.0 (Varni et al., 2001) was used to assess participants’ HRQOL (physical and mental function) in the spring.
PA and four components of physical fitness were positively associated with physical and mental function. Path analyses suggested physical fitness mediated the relationship between self-reported PA and HRQOL (95% CI: [.53, 1.48]), as well as between pedometer-based PA and HRQOL (95% CI: [.54, 1.53]).
Results support the conclusion that enhancing children’s physical fitness can facilitate positive outcomes including improved health related quality of life.
Gu is with the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation, University of North Texas, Denton, TX. Chang is with the Department of Educational Psychology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX. Solmon is with the School of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.