A comparison of the fitness levels of Indian high school boys in two cohorts : 1977 and 1997.
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The main aim of this study was to compare fitness levels of Indian high school boys in two cohorts: 1977 and 1997. A secondary aim was to identify if the same problem areas or strengths still exist in 1997 as in 1977 or if the levels of fitness have further deteriorated or improved, as well as the establishment of norms for boys 14 - 18 years. Ten different Secondary schools from the Durban Metropolitan area participated in this study. The test battery included eight tests measuring four components of motor fitness based on the Fleishman study. The tests that were used consisted of fifty metre shuttle run, fifty metre dash, sit-ups, pull-ups, medicine ball put, shot-put, 250m shuttle run and 12 minute run/walk test. Data from 500 hundred boys were included in the research analysis and these were categorized into 5 different age groups, 13,6 - 14,6 years; 14,7 - 15,6 years; 15,7 - 16,6 years; 16,7 - 17,6 years and 17,7 - 18,6 years. Basic statistical procedures were used to determine the normality of the samples for height and weight in each age group. Standard score tables were drawn for each age group. A paired t-test was used to determine if a significant difference between the means existed. The level of significance was set at 0,05. The means of both studies were compared to ascertain the difference in fitness levels in the two cohorts. The analysis of the data revealed that the fitness status of adolescent boys have deteriorated over two decades.