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Dario Novak1, Hrvoje Podnar2, Arunas Emeljanovas3, Risto Marttinen4

1University of Zagreb, Faculty of Kinesiology, Zagreb, Croatia; Harvard University, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Boston, United States
2University of Zagreb, Faculty of Kinesiology, Zagreb, Croatia
3Lithuanian Sports University, Faculty of Sports Education, Kaunas, Lithuania
4Columbia University, Teachers College, New York, United States

Comparison of Fitness Levels between Croatian and Lithuanian Students

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine and compare the level of individual anthropological characteristics of children in Croatia and Lithuania. The study examined height, weight, BMI and flexibility, explosive power and muscle endurance. The study included a total of 11,258 participants from two different countries. Of the total sample, 8,289 participants were from Croatia between ages 11 and 14 (mean age 12,5±1.5), of which 4,032 were male and 4,157 were female students. The other 2,969 participants were from Lithuania, also in the age range of 11-14 years (mean age 12,4±1.6), of which 1,504 participants were male and 1,456 females. During the 2009-10 school year, reserachers conducted measurements on students at different schools across Croatia. The same battery of tests was conducted in Lithuania during the same year. The results showed that the Croatian students have a higher body-mass, have higher BMI values and score better on tests of flexibility. Lithuanian students achieved better results in the repetitive strength test. Boys are taller, heavier and had higher BMI values as well as achieved better results in tests of explosive power and muscle endurance, while girls were more flexibile. Boys from Lithuania scored highest in all tests except in flexibility compared to boys in Croatia. Girls from Lithuania are thinner, have lower BMI and achieve better results in repetitive test of strength than girls in Croatia. Age was shown as a significant factor in the increase in all tested variables.

Keywords

morphology, motor skills, gender

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