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Jacob S. Tucker, Scott Martin, Allen W. Jackson, James R. Morrow Jr., Christy A. Greenleaf and Trent A. Petrie

Purpose:

To investigate the relations between sedentary behaviors and health-related physical fitness and physical activity in middle school boys and girls.

Methods:

Students (n = 1515) in grades 6–8 completed the Youth Risk Behavior Survey sedentary behavior questions, the FITNESSGRAM physical fitness items, and FITNESSGRAM physical activity self-report questions.

Results:

When students reported ≤ 2 hours per day of sedentary behaviors, their odds of achieving the FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zone for aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition increased. Similarly, the odds of achieving physical activity guidelines for children increased when students reported ≤ 2 hours per day of sedentary behaviors.

Conclusions:

Results illustrate the importance of keeping sedentary behaviors to ≤ 2 hours per day in middle school children, thus increasing the odds that the student will achieve sufficient health-related fitness benefits and be more likely to achieve the national physical activity guidelines.