EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Research article
Volume 4, No. 2, 2012, 41-47
UDC 796-057,875:796,015,132
AEROBIC FITNESS TREND OF STUDENTS OF THE
FACULTY OF SPORT AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF BELGRADE
Goran Prebeg
Faculty of sport and physical education, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Natalija Mihajlovi„
Bachelor of Sport, Belgrade, Serbia
Duöan Miti„
Faculty of sport and physical education, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Abstract
Aerobic fitness, endurance, and cardiovascular endurance are synonyms for work
capacity, which itself is an important prerequisite for the health and life of every man. The
purpose of this research was to identify the trend of aerobic fitness of students in the last 15
years. The Survey method, which implies nonexperimental crossectional research, was used. The
instrument is UKK 2km, walking test. The total sample consisted of 605 subjects (389 males,
216 females), students of Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, aged 18-28 years. They were
divided into three groups, according to when they were tested, the first group was tested in the
period 1997-2000 (N = 299), the other was tested from 2001-2004 (N = 200), the third was
tested in 2012 (N = 106). Analysis of the results showed a decreasing trend in fitness index of
male students with 104.1 to 77.3, and of the female students from 96.4 to 84.8. T-tests confirmed
differences in fitness index, at the level of p<0.05 for both sexes. The maximum oxygen
consumption among male students declined from 51.3 to 40.3 ml/kg/min, and among female
students from 37.5 to 33.7 ml/kg/min. The results indicate toward decreasing trend in students'
aerobic fitness in both sexes, but the trend is less pronounced in female students. Students of
both sexes have fitness index values below the standard norms of the Swedish population.
According to the criteria of Cooper oxygen consumption students have moved from the
ìExcellentî to the ìVery goodî category. The general trend of decreasing aerobic fitness of the
population can be seen in the sport and physical education students, as a consequence of lifestyle
in which there is not enough adequate physical activity.
Keywords: students, UKK 2 miles, fitness level
Corresponding author. Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrade, Blagoja Parovi„ 156,
11030 Belgrade, Serbia, e-mail: goran.prebeg@fsfv.bg.ac.rs
G. Prebeg, N. Mihajlovi and D. Miti
Introduction
A number of studies point to the key role of physical activity in order to ensure proper
physical and mental growth and development, environmental health, improvement of working
capacity and quality of life. For it is precisely through physical activity, the development of
aerobic fitness, or cardiovascular endurance important prerequisite.
However, despite the large number of information available on the various benefits of
physical activity in general, remain the most vulnerable people such as children, adolescents,
persons exposed to stressful situations, and the elderly. If we consider only the categories of
adolescents, this group, in addition to high school age, and belong to the students as well as older
adolescents. Study represents a significant change in lifestyle, the qualitative organization of
learning, and frequently change their place of residence. Adolescents, the majority, have
stabilized work habits, social behavior in the area are still searching for their own identity and
self-affirmation. The way of life is such that there is not enough physical activity, with great
psychological stress, especially during exam preparation. On the other hand, modern lifestyles
and modern technologies contributing to spare the man from physical strain and fatigue, but
denied physical activity. Leisure is becoming a victim of this technology, in which all forms of
communication and movement to the use of its products (Miti„, 2001).
At universities in Serbia, in the period between 1963 to 1998, regular physical education
classes for all first year students were organized. In addition, a number of recreational activities
was offered at nearby resorts. However, repeated testing of students from the Faculty of sport
and physical education in Belgrade, using the Cooper UKK test brisk walking 2 km, known in
the literature as a test to assess aerobic endurance (Laukkanen, 1992), indicated a declining trend
in aerobic capacity, as a result of less physical activity.
Method
Testing was performed on the total sample of 605 subjects (389 males, 216 females),
aged 18 to 28 years, all of them being students of Faculty of Sport and Physical Education in
Belgrad. They were divided into three groups, in relation to the period when they were tested.
The first group was tested in the period 1997-2000, N = 299, the second group was tested
from 2001-2004, N=200, and a third group 2012th years, n=106th. To extract and analyze the
results the Survey method was used, ie. a nonexperimental cross-sectional research. Statistical
analysis comprised the Student t-test, commonly-used parametric test of significance to test the
null hypothesis (Cvetkovi„, 2009).
The instrument applied in this study was UKK 2 km, a brisk walking test, according to
Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the 2 km long track. It is intended for testing of healthy adults aged 18 to
65 years. The test is relatively simple and does not require complex research skills. It is generally
performed under field conditions, allows simultaneous usage on many subjects, and is quite
reliable when it comes to testing non-atletes. Walking is an activity that engages the large muscle
groups, it is safe, low-risk activity that doesn't lead to the rapid fatigue. Before preparation for
the test, subjects complete a standardized questionnaire dealing with their daily physical activity
habits, leisure time physical activity or physical activity at the workplace, organized forms of
sport or recreation in which they participate, possession of sports equipment, and satisfaction
with their level of physical activity. Then the respondents height and weight were measured, by
anthropometer and digital scale, respectively, so to get information on the percentage of muscle
and fat tissue in the body.
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Aerobic fitness of students of Faculty of sport and PE
The aerobic fitness test applied, known as aerobic endurance test, is based on an indirect
estimate of maximum oxygen consumption, which forms the basis of physical work capacity.
Test protocol demands respect for outside air temperature in the range of 5 - 25 º C, moderate
humidity, loose-fitting clothing, and warm-up 5 - 10 minutes prior to testing (stretching the
muscles of the legs and spine, brisk walking about 200 meters).
After completion of brisk/vigorous two miles walk on the clean and flat track, the
walking time and heart rate are recorded. Precise test performance enables determination of
fitness index (general fitness), as well as estimation of indirect maximum oxygen consumption,
calculating BMI (body mass index) and the possibility of calculating the energy input required
calories per day in relation to body composition (Ksale / KJ) .
Walking test was performed on the total sample of 605 subjects, aged 18 to 28 years, who
are students FSFV in Belgrade, that is 389 male students and 216 female students. They were
divided into three groups, in relation to the period when they were tested. The first group was
tested in the period 1997-2000, N = 299, the second group was tested from 2001-2004, N = 200,
and a third group 2012th years, n = 106th.
The goal of this research was to compare mean values of fitness index and maximal
oxygen consumption (VO2 max) of three groups of subjects. The t-test examined whether there
were statistically significant differences between groups in Fitness index and maximal oxygen
consumption.
Testing was performed according to the protocol, and the data processed by the
appropriate formulas. Fitness formula for calculating the index of the people aged 18 to 65 years
(Stojiljkovi„, Miti„, Mandari„, & Neöi„, 2005):
Men = 420 ñ (11.6 min + 0.2 sec + 0.56 HR + 2.6 BMI) + 0.2 years
Women = 304 ñ (8.5 min + 0.14 sec + 0.32 HR + 1.1 BMI) + 0.4 years
Achieved time in minutes and seconds (eg, 15: 30 is split into 15 min and 30 sec),
HR - heart rate at the end of the test within one minute;
BMI-weight(kg)/height(m)squared,
The age of patients .
Table 1.
Categories according to FITNESS INDEX
Obtained values of FITNESS INDEX
< 70 well below the average
70 ñ 89 somewhat below average
90 ñ 110 average
110 ñ 130 something above average
>130 well above average
FITNESS INDEX is the fitness level of the person from the test, compared with the
average level of people the same age and sex, was calculated based on walking time, heart rate,
body weight index and age. FITNESS INDEX 100 corresponds to an average maximum oxygen
consumption between genders, individuals and years. Values below 100 presents a below
average level of fitness, a value above which fitness levels are above average. The formula for
calculating the maximal oxygen uptake ñ VO2 max (ml / min / kg):
43
G. Prebeg, N. Mihajlovi and D. Miti
Men = VO2 max = 184.9 ñ 4.65 time ñ 0.22 HR ñ 0.26 years ñ 1.05 BMI
Women = VO2 max = 116.2 ñ 2.98 time ñ 0.11 HR ñ 0.14 years ñ 0.39 BMI
Recorded time of test execution is translated as follows: 15 min and 30 sec = 15.5 min
predicted VO2max is the estimated consumption of VO2max (ml / min / kg) calculated on the basis
of time walking, heart rate, body weight index and age. The value of maximum aerobic capacity
is presented in Table 4. and 5. Predicted HR max is the highest heart rate that can be achieved by
testing, and estimated based on oxygen consumption and heart rate during a walk in the test.
Maximum heart rate can be used to determine the person's target zone, with recommendations
for further training.
Table 2.
The maximum aerobic capacity VO2 max (ml / min / kg) ñ men
Age
Decreased
Insufficient
Average
Good
Excellent
20 ñ 29
< 25
25 ñ 33
34 - 42
43 ñ 52
> 53
30 ñ 39
< 23
23 - 30
31 - 38
39 ñ 48
> 49
40 ñ 49
< 20
20 - 26
27 - 35
36 ñ 44
>
45
50 ñ 59
< 18
28 - 24
25 - 33
34 ñ 42
> 43
60 - 69
< 16
16 ñ 22
23 - 30
31 - 40
> 41
Table 3.
The maximum aerobic capacity VO2 max (ml / min / kg) ñ women
Age
Decreased
Insufficient
Average
Good
Excellent
20 ñ 29
< 24
24 ñ 30
31 - 37
38 - 48
> 49
30 ñ 39
< 20
20 - 27
28 - 33
34 ñ 44
> 45
40 ñ 49
< 17
17 - 23
24 - 30
31 ñ 41
> 42
50 ñ 59
< 15
15 - 20
21 - 27
28 ñ 37
> 38
60 - 69
< 13
13 ñ 17
18 - 23
24 - 34
> 35
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Aerobic fitness of students of Faculty of sport and PE
Results
Data for the fitness index and maximal oxygen consumption (average value), particularly
for women and men, in relation to the period when they were tested, are shown in the lower part
of Figure 1. and 2.
Figure 1. Fitness index and VO2max for men
On Figure 1. the results show that the index of the first tested fitness group (1997-2000)
is 104.1, which according to Swedish population norms is within the average range of the index
(90-110). In the second group the index is 91.1, which is slightly lower than the previously tested
group, but still within the average values. In the third group (2012) Fitness index is 77.3, which
is lower than the both previously tested groups, and according to the Swedish population norms
this value falls into the category of 'somewhat below average' (70-89). Figure 1 presents the
mean maximal oxygen uptake, VO2max, in which also noted a downward trend. In the first
group, the average value of VO2 max was 51.3, 46.1 in the second. Both of these values,
according to Cooper's maximal aerobic capacity norms (ml / min / kg), are above the average
category. In the third group, VO2max value is 40.8, which is the average value.
Figure 2. Fitness index and VO2max for women
45
G. Prebeg, N. Mihajlovi and D. Miti
Figure 2 shows that in women there is a declining trend in Fitness Index, with the first
group (1997-2000) average value of 96.4, which is the average index value, according to the
Swedish population norms. In the second group (2001-2004) index is 86.1, while the third group
(2012) achieved index value of 84.8. Index values in the second and third group fall into the
category of 'somewhat below average."
According to Figure 2, showing the average values of maximum oxygen consumption in
women, the first group scored 37.5, second group - 34, and third group - 33.7. All three values
are within the average category, according to the criteria of the Cooper oxygen consumption. T -
test showed a statistically significant differences for both sexes.
Conclusions
The aim of this study was to compare the fitness index and maximal oxygen consumption
between three groups tested with Coopers brisk walking test on the path of
2 km. The
participants where students of the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, which have been
tested over the last fifteen years, in the period from 1997-2000, the first group, 2001-2004, the
second group, and 2012. the third group. Testing was performed by the same protocol in similar
conditions. Number of subjects tested 1997-2000 is approximately equal to the number of
subjects tested, 2001-2004, while the number of subjects tested 2012th was slightly smaller. As
for the number of subjects divided by sex, more male subjects were tested, while in the age
category all respondents have between 18 and 28 years. T - test showed that there were
significant statistical differences between the three groups when it comes to fitness index and
maximal oxygen consumption.
Students tested in the period from 1997-2000 had higher fitness index than the students
tested in subsequent periods. Fitness index of the value of 104.1 in the first group tested falling
to 91.1 in the second group tested, and in the third group tested its value was 77.3. In the last
generation of students tested, the index value is below the average value of the Swedish
population norms, while the index for the first two groups moving average. Speaking of
maximum oxygen consumption in men, there is also a trend of decreasing this value. This value
was 51.3 for first tested group, falling to 46.1, and in the third 40.8 ml / kg / min. According to
the criteria of the Cooper VO2max values of oxygen consumption in the first and second groups
were slightly above average values, while the third group had average value.
For female students there is also a downward trend in the value of Fitness index from
96.4 tested in the first group, to 86.1, in the second group tested, and finally to 84.8 in the third
group. This means that only the index of the first group was in range of average values, while the
second and third group value is below the average. Maximum oxygen consumption t has a
downward trend from 37.5 in the first group, 34 in the second group to 33.7 in the third group
tested. VO2max values for females was average range.
The results obtained are showing trend of decreasing aerobic capacity in students of both
genders, but the trend is less pronounced decline for female students. The general trend of
decreasing aerobic fitness of the population can be seen in the students and faculty staff also.
This phenomenon is a consequence of the way of life in which there is not enough adequate
physical activity. Concern that the investigation relates to the students of Faculty of Sport and
Physical Education, beacuse exercise should be the essence of their interest. The problem may be
in the reduction of the material in college (the number of hours of practical training), which is
related to physical activity, and reduced students interest in extracurricular or recreational
activities. It is important to note that the implementation of the test was at the beginning of the
school year, after the exams, when students where ocupied in exam preparation and most of the
time during the day they spend in a seated position, which may be the cause of physical
inactivity.
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Aerobic fitness of students of Faculty of sport and PE
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Mihajlovi„, N., & Miti„, D. (2010). Stanje kondicije uËesnika na letnjem festivalu rekreacije. U
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