Physical fitness of rural children and adolescents on the example of Polish pupils from the School Complex in Ołdaki
Karolina Dąbrowska1, Mateusz Cybulski2, Anna Konopka3, Elżbieta Krajewska-Kułak2
Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate physical fitness of rural children and adolescents on the example of pupils of the School Complex in Ołdaki, Poland. Material and method: The study covered 79 pupils of grades IV–VI of the primary school and I–III of the lower secondary school of the School Complex in Ołdaki. The study used K. Zuchora’s Index of Physical Fitness and a diagnostic survey method based on the author-prepared questionnaire. Results: The study conducted among pupils of the School Complex in Ołdaki showed that physical fitness of children and adolescents from the countryside was at a relatively good level. Of the components of the Index of Physical Fitness, the worst results were obtained for abdominal muscle strength. However, the subjects showed very good flexibility, endurance and speed. Girls and boys obtained similar test results. Striking is the fact that the oldest subjects, i.e. pupils in grade III of the lower secondary school, obtained the worst results both in the entire test and in individual exercises. Conclusions: The pupils knew how to take care of their health; they were able to indicate the benefits of being physically active, were eager to take part in physical education classes and actively spent their free time. They mostly believed that they could eat healthy. Only a small percentage of pupils admitted to have had contact with stimulants and fast-foods, which was a confirmation of the fact that they were taking good care of their health. Fitness tests proved that the pupils’ fitness was at a satisfactory level. There was no noticeable difference in the results obtained by girls and boys, which indicated similar performance in all pupils. The evaluation of the pupils’ activity in their free time proved that they were more willing to spend it actively, most often playing football and cycling 2–3 times a week.