HELENA: Fitness normative value to identify young people most in need of improved fitness

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HELENA fitness normative values - a tool to identify young people most in need of improved fitness

HELENA Study logo(RGB).jpeg
Project acronym: HELENA
Duration: May 2005 – Oct 2008
Funded by: DG Research (FP6)
Website: www.helenastudy.com


Project name: Healthy lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescents

Sub title regarding the application described : Fitness normative values to identify young people most in need of improved fitness

Contacts: Prof Louis Moreno Aznar, Universidad de Zaragoza, E.U. Ciencias de la Salud, Domingo Miral s/n, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain Tel: +34 976761000 Fax: +34 976761752 e-mail: lmoreno@unizar.es


1. Context and problematic

Physical fitness in childhood and adolescence is a strong indicator for present and future cardiovascular, metabolic, skeletal and mental health. To aid in the development of screening protocols that could help identify young people most in need of improved fitness, researchers from the HELENA project have derived age and sex specific normative values for physical fitness in European adolescents.


2. Results and Applications

The normative values have been prepared so that an individual can rank their fitness on an scale from 1-10. From a public health perspective these values could be used in the school or health care setting to identify young people with very low fitness levels who may need further investigation for co-morbidities. The fitness scale could also be used to motivate youngsters to develop their fitness so they can progress up the scale.


3. Novelties, benefits and added value

The development of normative values for physical fitness is an important milestone that will enable the correct interpretation of European adolescents’ fitness status and can be used, for example, to develop screening and fitness improvement programmes.

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