Body-Weight as Determinator of Physical Efficiency


IN view of the nutritional, educational and other implications of physical development, it is desirable to arrive at an objective evaluation of anthropometric measurements. Among the determinators of muscular efficiency which a study of physical fitness of school children in South Africa has revealed1, body weight has been found to be of significance. We apply three performance tests intended to yield information with regard to neuro-muscular skill and speed (100 yards running), circulatory and respiratory endurance (600 yards running) and muscular strength (putting the 12 lb. shot). As the accompanying table and graph indicate, a specific determination of performance standards through body-weight is noticeable. In the 100-yard race, underweight and overweight are about equally disadvantageous. In the 600-yard race overweight is more disadvantageous than underweight, while in putting the shot only underweight is disadvantageous. The medium body-weight levels are associated with the best all-round physical efficiency. The tests were conducted with 1,514 boys of beween 6 and 17 years of age. Baldwin and Wood's age-weight tables were used as standards. The four weight sub-groups (A–D) were calculated according to Bogert's2 recommendation.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    de Jongh, T. W., Cluver, E. H., and Jokl, E., "A National Manpower Survey of South Africa",Manpower (Pretoria), 1, 1 (September, 1942).

  2. 2

    Bogert, L. J., "Nutrition and Physical Fitness" (Philadelphia and London, 1939).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.