Body-Weight as Determinator of Physical Efficiency

Abstract

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.

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References

  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).

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