Aerobic fitness of Tasmanian secondary school children using the 20-m shuttle run test

Cooley, Dean and McNaughton, Lars (1999) Aerobic fitness of Tasmanian secondary school children using the 20-m shuttle run test. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 88(1), pp. 188-198. ISSN (print) 0031-5125


The aim of this study was to determine the aerobic fitness of Tasmanian secondary school children aged 11 to 16 years. A random sample of Tasmanian secondary schools was undertaken and then all children within each grade in the school were tested. In all, 6061 children undertook the test, 2981 boys and 3080 girls. The test consisted of a 20-m shuttle run in time to a prerecorded timing sequence. Each child had to complete as many shuttles as possible while staying in time with the beep. The test ceased for each child when they could no longer reach the marker at the same time or prior to the generated sound. The analyses indicated that there was a significant main effect of grade and sex. Children in lower grades completed fewer shuttles than the children in higher grades, and boys completed more shuttles than girls within each grade. Students in government-run schools completed significantly fewer shuttles than their nongovernment school counterparts (p < .0001). On a regional basis, there were no differences between children in the north and south of Tasmania as each completed 5.7 +/- 0.1 shuttles but children in the northwestern region of the state completed a significantly greater number of shuttles. An estimation of mean VO2max based upon shuttle stages completed indicated that these values ranged from a low of 40.6 in 13-, 14-, and 15-yr-old girls to a high of 50.4 in 16-yr-old boys. Comparisons between this and similar data suggest that Tasmanian school children are less fit than their counterparts around the world. In conclusion, normative data for Tasmanian school children were developed and distributed to schools throughout Tasmania for use by teachers in evaluating the fitness of their students.

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