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Da Silva S.P.,Regional University of Cariri | Beunen G.,Catholic University of Leuven | Prista A.,Pedagogical University of Maputo | Maia J.,University of Porto
Journal of Sports Sciences

The main purpose of this study was to track the performance and health-related physical fitness of girls from Brazil's Cariri region. In the "Healthy Growth in Cariri Study", 294 girls from public and private schools were divided into four age cohorts - 8, 10, 12, and 14 years - and followed for three consecutive years, with an assessment every 6 months. Shuttle run, hand grip, standing long jump, trunk lift, curl-up, 12-min run, and fatness were used to rate physical fitness performance and health-related components on each of six occasions. Tracking was done in a stepwise manner, using auto-correlation, by modelling the individual history of change in performance of each girl, and using Foulkes and Davies' γ-coefficient. SPSS 18.0 and TIMEPATH were used for data analysis. Auto-correlations evidenced low-to-moderate values in almost all components of performance and health-related physical fitness. Intra-individual tracking analysis showed large variation in all fitness components as a result of a wide spread in individual history of change in fitness performance. Population estimates of γ were low in all tests. Our results show low-to-moderate tracking of physical fitness components of girls. A wide range of intra-individual and inter-variability in fitness development was observed. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Dos Santos F.K.,University of Porto | Gomes T.N.Q.F.,University of Porto | Damasceno A.,Eduardo Mondlane University | Prista A.,Pedagogical University of Maputo | Maia J.A.R.,University of Porto
Annals of Human Biology

Background: Except for North America and Europe, few studies have reported the association among physical activity (PA), cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in youths, especially for rural African youth. Aim: The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of PA levels, CRF, MetS and its indicators, and examine the association between these variables in a school-aged sample of youth from rural Mozambique. Subjects and methods: The sample included 209 children and adolescents aged 7-15 years old from Calanga, a rural community in Mozambique. PA was estimated with a culturally-specific questionnaire. CRF was determined by 1-mile run test. Indicators of the MetS included fasting glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index. A continuous metabolic risk score was computed. Results: Results showed high levels of PA and CRF and a low prevalence of MetS ( < 2%) among children and adolescents from Calanga. However, there was a moderately high prevalence of elevated blood pressure (81.8%) and triglycerides (18.7%), respectively. There were no significant associations between PA, CRF and MetS. Conclusion: Youths from Calanga are physically active and possess high CRF and their lifestyle may be a protective effect against MetS. © Informa UK, Ltd. Source

Nhantumbo L.,Pedagogical University of Maputo | Ribeiro Maia J.A.,University of Porto | Dos Santos F.K.,University of Porto | Jani I.V.,Instituto Nacional Of Saude | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Human Biology

Background: Little information exists about the relationship of nutritional status and motor performance conditional on asymptomatic parasitemia in rural African children. Aims: The aims of this study were to (1) determine if malnourished youths from rural African areas have lower levels of physical fitness (PF) and physical activity (PA) compared to normal weight youths, (2) verify the biological relevance of anthropometric criteria used to classify nutritional status in youth, and (3) determine the prevalence of parasitological indicators, and its association with nutritional status and PF. Methods: The sample comprised 794 youths (6-17 years) from Calanga, a rural community in Mozambique. PF tests were selected from standardized test batteries, and PA was estimated by accelerometry. Nutritional status was defined according to WHO recommendations for stunting, wasting and normal weight. Parasitological indicators were determined based on stool specimens' analysis. Results: In general terms the normal group out-performed the other nutritional groups (stunted and wasted) for PF. However, no significant differences were found for PA among nutritional groups. There were also no significant differences in prevalence of intestinal parasites. Conclusions: Nutritional status was not associated with PA levels or the prevalence of parasitological indicators in youth, but was related to physical performance. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 25:516-523, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Dos Santos F.K.,University of Porto | Prista A.,Pedagogical University of Maputo | Gomes T.N.Q.F.,University of Porto | Daca T.,Pedagogical University of Maputo | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Human Biology

Objective: This study presents information about secular trends in physical fitness (PF) levels among Mozambican youth. Methods: The sample comprises 3,851 subjects (1,791 boys; 2,060 girls) aged 8-15 years who were evaluated at three time points (1992, 1999, 2012). PF tests included handgrip strength, 10 m × 5 m shuttle-run, sit-and-reach, and 1-mile run/walk. Biological maturity was assessed by sexual characteristics, and percentage body fat was predicted using triceps and subscapular skinfolds. ANCOVA (controlling for age, maturity status, and percentage body fat) was used to compare mean differences in PF tests among the three time points, by sex. Results: Children in 1992 were more flexible than those from 2012; boys handgrip strength increased from 1992 to 2012, while girls decreased their handgrip strength; youth in 1992 were faster and more agile than their 2012 peers; and a decrease was observed in cardiorespiratory fitness between 1992 and 1999 and between 1992 and 2012 for both sexes. Conclusions: A negative secular trend among Mozambican children's PF was observed over the last two decades, suggesting that socio-political, educational, and economical changes occurring during this period had a relevant effect on their PF. This negative trend suggests that development of intervention programs/strategies to improve PF among youth is warranted. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 27:201-206, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

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