The last decade has seen a shift in emphasis from the goal of attaining physical fitness (a product) to the behavior of physical activity (a process) to achieve health benefits. A central question is whether the achievement of physical fitness (PF) is necessary or if participation in physical activity (PA) is sufficient. Three basic tenets of this shift are examined by using representative studies. They are: (1) both PA and PF will lead to health benefits; PF is simply a surrogate measure for PA, (2) the impact of genetics will be avoided if PA, not PF, is emphasized and that is desirable, and (3) it is easier to motivate “the masses” to accumulate lifestyle moderate activity than to undergo a vigorous exercise prescription. Results indicate that PA and PF might be independent risk factors, that both have a degree of genetic determination, and that participation rates for PA have changed little and remain insufficient. Both PA and PF need to be evaluated, promoted, and attained.
Norman S. Hannibal III, Sharon Ann Plowman, Marilyn A. Looney and Jason Brandenburg
Strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility are important components of healthy back function. This study determined the reliability and evaluated the validity of selected low back field tests (FITNESSGRAM ® Trunk Extension [FG-TE] and Box 90° Dynamic Trunk Extension [B-90° DTE]) when compared to laboratory tests (Parallel Roman Chair Dynamic Trunk Extension [PRC-DTE], Parallel Roman Chair Static Trunk Extension [PRC-STE], and Dynamometer Static Back Lift [DSBL]).
Forty males age 15.1 ± 1.2 yr and 32 females age 15.5 ± 1.2 yr participated.
Intraclass test-retest reliability coefficients (one-way ANOVA model for a single measure) ranged from .940 to .996. Validity coefficients determined by Pearson product moment correlation coefficients for males and females, respectively, were as follows: B-90° DTE vs. PRC-DTE = .82, .62 (p < .05); B-90° DTE vs. PRC-STE = .55, .38 (p < .05); B-90° DTE vs. DSBL = −.29, −.23; FG-TE vs. PRC-DTE = .23, −.11; FG-TE vs. PRC-STE = −.15, .33; and FG-TE vs. DSBL = −.04, −.36.
B-90° DTE was shown to be a valid field test when compared to PRC-DTE, but only for the males. Further research on the PRC-DTE and PRC-STE items for adolescents is recommended.