Koulouvaris P, Tsolakis C, Tsekouras YE, Donti O, Papagelopoulos PJ. Obesity and physical fitness indices of children aged 5-12 years living on remote and isolated islandsRural Remote Health. 2018;18(2):4425. doi:10.22605/RRH4425

Obesity has become one of the major health risks in childhood, significantly affecting children’s health and physical fitness. Although the marked increase of obesity in urban areas is well established, evidence is limited in remote and isolated areas with adverse socioeconomic features. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of obesity and its association with physical performance indices in young school-aged children living in 18 remote and isolated Greek islands.

Methods:  Four hundred and sixty-three children (244 boys, 219 girls), aged 5–12 years underwent a series of physical fitness tests including 20 m sprint, standing long jump, 1 kg medicine ball throw, agility T-test and sit-and-reach test. Age and gender BMI cut-off points were determined according to World Health Organisation (WHO) norms.

Results:  The prevalence of obesity was 23.8% and 13.2% for boys and girls, respectively. A negative body mass index (BMI) main effect was observed for weight-bearing activities, such as 20 m sprint (F=6.21, p=0.000, η2=0.041) and standing long jump (F=11.369, p=0.000, η2=0.074), while medicine ball throw was positively correlated with BMI in children aged 9–12 years.
Conclusion:  The results of this study confirmed previous findings on obesity prevalence in Greece. A negative association was also found between BMI and physical fitness indices and, in particular, in weight-bearing activities. It is critical to establish physical education interventions and physical fitness programs at schools, aiming to increase motivation for physical activity participation.

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Charilaos Tsolakis(1), Yiannis E. Tsekouras(2), Theodoros Daviotis(2), Panayiotis Koulouvaris(2), Panayiotis J. Papaggelopoulos(2)
(1) School of Physical Education and Sports Science, National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
(2) 1st Orthopaedic Clinic «Attikon» General University Hospital, Orthopaedic Center of Research and Education PN Soukakos, Attikon Hospital, National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece


The aim of this study was to investigate sport specific correlates of fencing performance, in both young male and female fencers. All assessments (anthropometry, arm strength, leg power, flexibility, fencing movement reaction times in visual stimuli velocity of arm extension, lunge velocity, step and lunge velocity and fencing specific agility test) were conducted on 9 males and 13 female young fencers 13.4±0.85 years old (mean age
± standard deviation). Relationships were examined by calculating Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient (r). A stepwise multiple linear regression was used to identify the best predictors of fencing performance. Females were found to have more body fat and higher BMI values compared to males. Males outperformed females in all leg power tests, while females were more flexible than males. Moreover males were faster in arm velocity, step-lunge velocity and change of direction velocity compared to females. Anthropometric parameters were not correlated to fencing performance. Long jump and squat jump were the best predictors of step and lunge velocity and change of direction velocity, respectively. The integration of power exercises in both the horizontal and vertical plane is recommended as regular regimen in physical condition protocols in order to optimize the fencing performance in young fencers.

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