Health-related fitness of American Indian youth

Timothy A. Brusseau, Tom Finkelstein, Pamela Kulinna, Connie Pangrazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A physically fit lifestyle is important for American Indian (AI) youth who are at risk for hypokinetic diseases, particularly type 2 diabetes. Some evidence exists on the physical activity patterns of AI youth, but there is little information on their health-related fitness. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the health-related fitness levels of youth living in an AI community. Method: Participants included youth from 5th to 9th grade (N = 85) in a Southwestern U.S. AI community. Youth were of AI descent and were 12.36 ± 1.68 years of age. Participants completed 5 parts of the FITNESSGRAM® fitness test during physical education. The tests included the Progressive Aerobic Cardiorespiratory Endurance Run fitness test (cardiovascular fitness), curl-up (muscular endurance), pushup (muscular strength), sit-and-reach (flexibility), and body mass index (estimated body composition). Results: Results were similar to other youth studies with some of the students reaching the healthy fitness zone for muscular strength (28%), body composition (30%), flexibility (60%), aerobic fitness (63%), and muscular endurance (74%). Conclusions: Findings highlight the capacity for improvement for students across all of the components of health-related fitness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-261
Number of pages5
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2014


  • Native American
  • fitness levels
  • school health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Nephrology


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