State of the Art Reviews: Development of Fitness in Children: The Influence of Gender and Physical Activity
The influences of gender and physical activity on the development of fitness are reviewed from early childhood to late adolescence. Changes in parameters of fitness prior to puberty are driven predominantly by neuroendocrine-mediated factors, although physical activity level may be influenced largely by sociocultural factors prior to and following puberty. Thus, it is still unclear to what extent environment versus genetics accounts for gender differences in fitness. Future studies need to account for all factors known to explain gender differences in fitness to better differentiate intrinsic versus environmental causes. Consequently, one must consider if and to what extent a gender comparison study actually reveals true, inherent gender differences compared with sociocultural and/or cultural influences. Nevertheless, differences in fitness between girls and boys that are influenced by sociocultural factors should be considered when devising programs to promote physical activity and enhance fitness in youth. Fundamentally, the role of parents and primary caregivers in modeling physical activity and influencing the fitness level of their child cannot be overestimated. © 2008, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Keller, Betsy A., "State of the Art Reviews: Development of Fitness in Children: The Influence of Gender and Physical Activity" (2008). Faculty Articles Indexed in Scopus. 1692.