Physique, body composition and physical fitness of Finnish, Hungarian and American adolescents

Monika Kaj
University of Pecs, Doctoral School of Health Sciences, Pecs, Hungary
University of Pecs, Department of Leisure Sports and Recreation, Pecs, Hungary
Judit Németh
University of Pecs, Doctoral School of Biology, Pecs, Hungary
University of Pecs, Department of Leisure Sports and Recreation, Pecs, Hungary
Eva Tékus
University of Pecs, Doctoral School of Health Sciences, Pecs, Hungary
University of Pecs, Department of Sportbiology, Pecs, Hungary
Marta Wilhelm
University of Pecs, Department of Leisure Sports and Recreation, Pecs, Hungary


The aim of this cross-sectional study was to compare the body structure and physical
fitness of Finnish (n=26), Hungarian (n=42) and American (n=55) adolescents (N=123). Height,
weight, skinfolds, body fat percentages, circumferences and widths were recorded to define the
somatotypological characteristics and growth type of subjects. To define adolescents’ healthrelated
fitness the Eurofit Fitness Test Battery was used. Differences between the ethnic groups in
terms of body composition and motoric performance were analyzed with ANOVA. The prevalence
of overweight was 9.3 % among Hungarians, 23.07% among Finns and 38.2 % among Americans.
PLX is lower (F=10.941, P=0.002) in the Hungarian group compared to the Finnish adolescents.
Finnish adolescents have higher VO2max in both sexes (34.98±4.08; 41.03±4.06 ml/kg/min)
despite the fact that they have higher body fat than Hungarians. Comparison between the different
ethnic groups suggests that adolescents need higher amount and intensity of training to achieve the
proper physical activity level.

Keywords: body composition, physical activity, quality of life, aerobic performance

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