Validity of Alternative Fitnessgram Upper Body Tests of Muscular Strength and Endurance Among Seventh and Eighth Grade Males and Females
In a society in which obesity levels have tripled in the past 30 years, the importance of increased fitness levels within the academic setting has become even more critical. The purpose of this study was to investigate the validity of alternative Fitnessgram upper body tests of muscular strength and endurance among seventh and eighth grade males and females. The recommended test item used to assess students is the 90° Push-Up (90° PSU). However, the Fitnessgram provides alternative assessments to measure upper body strength: the Modified Pull-Up (MPU) and the Flexed Arm Hang (FAH). Adolescent males and females (N = 123) in seventh and eighth grades were administered all three muscular strength and endurance assessments. Males exemplified minimal acceptability for the 90° PSUâ€“MPU and 90° PSUâ€“FAH comparisons. Similar to the results for males, results for females indicated unacceptable reliability estimates for the 90° PSUâ€“MPU and 90° PSUâ€“FAH comparisons. As a result of this study, it is imperative that physical educators and other administrators are aware that implementing the Fitnessgram alternative assessments of muscular strength and endurance may hinder and/or alter an adolescent's healthy fitness zone classification. Thus, future research regarding the muscular strength and endurance test items will ultimately promote a higher level of confidence among practitioners when using the test items interchangeably.
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