Objective: To examine the association of health-related physical fitness with total and central body fat in adolescents.
Subjects/Methods: The present cross-sectional study comprises 363 Spanish adolescents (186 females) aged 12.5-17.5 years. We assessed fitness by the 20m shuttle run test (cardiorespiratory fitness); the handgrip strength, the standing broad jump and the Abalakov tests (muscular strength); and the 4x10m shuttle run test (speed- agility). Total body fat was measured by DXA, BodPod, and sum of 6 skinfolds, and central body fat was measured by DXA at three regions (R1, R2, and R3), and waist circumference.
Results: The Abalakov, the standing broad jump, the 4x10m shuttle run, and the 20m shuttle run tests were negatively associated with all markers of total and central body fat in both males and females after controlling for age, pubertal status and objectively assessed physical activity (P<0.01). Handgrip strength test was positively associated with waist circumference (P<0.01).
Conclusions: Both lower body muscular strength and cardiorespiratory fitness are negatively and consistently associated with total and central body fat in adolescents, whereas levels of upper body muscular strength were superior in adolescents with higher levels of central body fat.