Morphological Characteristics and Motor Fitness Among Girls Attending Different Secondary-School Programmes

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Marjeta Kovac; Janko Strel; Gregor Jurak & Bojan Leskosek


During adolescence, a drop of interest in physical activity in girls' free time and a stagnation in some physical fitness indicators can be observed. The physical fitness of a sample of 14,920 girls from three different types of secondary-school educational programmes (academic, technical and vocational) with different amounts of physical education lessons in the curriculum was analysed. Data from the Slovenia's monitoring system of students' physical fitness (SLOFIT), including three morphological measures and eight motor tests, was used. A multivariate analysis of variance was used to test the differences between the type of programme and the age of students. There are statistically significant (p<0.001) differences between the educational programmes for the entire set of tested morphological and motor variables. The educational programme is a much more important factor (about 7% of explained variances) than age (0.4%). It better explains the differences in motor variables than morphological variables. Girls from the academic programme are taller and have thinner triceps skinfolds. They also show better motor fitness than their counterparts from technical and vocational programmes. However, it cannot be concluded that all the variability is due to the secondary-school educational programme, because the results are also influenced by some interpersonal and social factors that were not controlled in our study. Nevertheless, more action is needed to compensate certain inequalities between young girls, especially those from vocational schools.

KEY WORDS: Anthropometry; Motor tests; Female; Adolescence.

How to cite this article

KOVAC, M.; STREL, J.; JURAK, G. & LESKOSEK, B. Morphological characteristics and motor fitness among girls attending different secondary-school programmes. Int. J. Morphol., 30(2):411-416, 2012.