Health, Fitness, Lifestyle and Physical Competency of School Children in Wales

Research output: Book/ReportOther (book/report)peer-review


Promoting physical activity, fitness and physical competence are effective preventa-tive measures for a variety of health risks and non-communicable diseases. Identify-ing overall levels, trends and inequalities among children and young people is imper-ative to inform and deliver effective programmes and initiatives aimed at increasing physical activity, health-related fitness and physical competence levels. The current challenge is to identify the interrelationships between these factors and to develop new insight into their assessment and integration into physical activity frameworks and models. Therefore, the overarching aim of the thesis was to investigate the health, fitness, lifestyle and physical competency of school children.Study 1 consolidated and translated surveillance data related to physical activity among children and young people in Wales in order to assign grades to physical activity/ in-activity behaviours and influences indicators. Studies 2 and 3 highlighted the secular changes and the socio-economic and sex differences, respectively, in selected health-related fitness measures. Taken together, Studies 1, 2 and 3 showed that physical activity behaviours and influences and overall health-related fitness levels were low, and inequalities existed across socio-economic status and sex. Given the importance of physical competence in children and young people, Study 4 summarised the devel-opment of a novel, dynamic measure of physical competence (Dragon Challenge) that incorporates fundamental, combined and complex movement skills. Study 4 revealed that the Dragon Challenge was a valid and reliable tool in 10-14 year old children, and Study 5 resulted in the first reported model that quantified the direct and indirect relationships between ecological factors on physical competence.Overall this thesis advocates for a balance of physical activity (quantity and exposure) and fitness and physical competency (quality and outcome) in children and young people and can be used to inform the content and delivery of health education inter-ventions and programmes
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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