19th Apr 2024

Introduction: Health-related fitness is an important biomarker of health in youth. However, information on the association between 24-hour movement behaviour compliance and the different health-related fitness parameters is still uncertain. Thus, the aim was to analyse the association between complying with the 24-hour movement behaviours and health-related fitness in Portuguese youth.
Methods: Participants were 263 Portuguese youths, 51.3% boys, with a mean age of 12.9±1.0. Movement behaviours (moderate-to-vigorous physical activity [MVPA], screen time and sleep) were assessed by accelerometers and self-reported. Health-related fitness was assessed using the FITescola battery, including body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), aerobic fitness (PACER), upper-body strength (push-ups), lower-body strength (standing broad jump), agility (4x10m shuttle-run) and speed (40m dash). Linear regression models, adjusted for sex and age, were performed for each fitness parameter.
Results: Only 24.7% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 19.5, 29.9) and 28.5% (95%CI: 23.0, 34.0) of children and adolescents followed the MVPA and screen-time recommendations, while 64.6% (95%CI: 58.8, 70.4) attained enough sleep. Complying with MVPA was associated with better aerobic fitness (B=14.5 laps; 95%CI: 9.8, 19.1) and upper- (B=2.1 push-ups; 95%CI: 0.4, 3.7) and lower-body strength (B=10.9 cm; 95%CI: 3.8, 18.2). Whereas, attaining screen-time recommendations was related to lower BMI (B=-1.1; 95%CI: -2.1, -0.1). Sleep was not associated with any fitness parameter. Following all three movement behaviours was associated with better aerobic fitness (B=10.7 laps; 95%CI: 2.7, 18.7) and upper-body strength (B=2.8 cm; 95%CI: 0.1, 5.6) and thinner WC (B=-5.0 cm; 95%CI: -9.8, -0.2).
Conclusions: Movement behaviour compliance is associated with health-related fitness but with different patterns. While engaging in 60 daily minutes of MVPA seems key for muscular and aerobic fitness, having less than 2 hours/day of screen time may positively impact weight. Promoting the 24-hour movement behaviours could be a gateway for improving health-related fitness in future generations.

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