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Open access

Test–Retest Reliability of Student-Administered Health-Related Fitness Tests in School Settings

Brendan T. O’Keeffe, Alan E. Donnelly, and Ciaran MacDonncha

Purpose: To examine the test–retest reliability of student-administered (SA) health-related fitness tests in school settings and to compare indices of reliability with those taken by trained research-assistants. Methods: Participants (n = 86; age: 13.43 [0.33] y) were divided into 2 groups, SA (n = 45, girls = 26) or research-assistant administered (RA; n = 41, girls = 21). The SA group had their measures taken by 8 students (age: 15.59 [0.56] y, girls = 4), and the RA group had their measures taken by 8 research-assistants (age: 21.21 [1.38], girls = 5). Tests were administered twice by both groups, 1 week apart. Tests included body mass index, handgrip strength, standing broad jump, isometric plank hold, 90° push-up, 4 × 10-m shuttle run, back-saver sit and reach, and blood pressure. Results: Intraclass correlation coefficients for SA (≥.797) and RA (≥.866) groups were high, and the observed systematic error (Bland–Altman plot) between test 1 and test 2 was close to 0 for all tests. The coefficient of variation was less than 10% for all tests in the SA group, aside from the 90° push-up (24.3%). The SA group had a marginally lower combined mean coefficient of variation across all tests (6.5%) in comparison with the RA group (6.8%). Conclusion: This study demonstrates that, following familiarization training, SA health-related fitness tests in school-based physical education programs can be considered reliable.

Open access

Active Students Are Healthier and Happier Than Their Inactive Peers: The Results of a Large Representative Cross-Sectional Study of University Students in Ireland

Marie H. Murphy, Angela Carlin, Catherine Woods, Alan Nevill, Ciaran MacDonncha, Kyle Ferguson, and Niamh Murphy

Background: Time spent in university represents a period of transition and may be an appropriate time to promote physical activity among young adults. The aim of this study was to assess participation of university students in sport and physical activity in Ireland and to explore the association between physical activity and perceptions of overall health, mental health, and happiness. Methods: The Student Activity and Sport Study Ireland was a cross-sectional online survey among a representative sample (n = 8122) of university students in Ireland. Binary logistic regressions were performed to examine associations between self-reported physical activity and gender (predictor variables) and individual perceptions of overall health, mental health, and happiness (binary outcomes). Results: Only 64.3% of respondents met the recommended level of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week with males significantly more active than females (72.1% vs 57.8% meeting guidelines). Those meeting physical activity guidelines were more likely to report greater overall health and higher mental health and happiness scores compared with their inactive peers. Conclusions: Active students enjoy better health (overall and mental) and are happier than their inactive peers. This provides a clear rationale for providing students with opportunities to be active at university. The data provide a baseline to monitor changes in physical activity patterns.