Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Peggy Mohr


Child; Physical Fitness; Soccer


Purpose: Childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate throughout the United States and has been associated with multiple health complications such as heart disease and diabetes. Due to these increasing rates and health effects, there is a need to determine effective methods to measure physical activity as well as promote physical activity. One form of determining a child's level of fitness is through the Fitnessgram. This study was designed to determine if formally testing fitness levels with the Fitnessgram in 11-12 year old girls participating in organized soccer is correlated with changes in fitness levels from pre-season to post-season, determine if using a measure such as the Fitnessgram influences the motivation to participate in organized and nonorganized physical activities, and determine if girls participating in organized soccer have higher fitness levels when compared to normative data.

Subjects: Subjects were recruited from a soccer club and consisted of four female soccer players ages 11 to 12. Inclusion was based on participation in organized girls soccer and exclusion was based on parent/guardian and/or player's refusal to consent to participation.

Instrumentation: The Fitnessgram was used to provide feedback on whether or not the child achieved the criterion referenced age and gender specific standards for physical activity or fitness. In addition, participants were asked to complete questionnaires relative to the study.

Procedure: Fitnessgram protocol was followed to evaluate strength, flexibility, body composition, and endurance. Subjects completed six tests both pre and post season which included curl-ups, trunk lifts, push-ups, PACER, skinfold measurements and sit and reach.

Data Analysis: A related sample t-test compared pre and post-season measurements for curl-ups, trunk lift, push-ups, PACER test, and sit and each measurements.

Results: Results of this study revealed no significant difference in preseason Fitnessgram scores compared to post-season scores.

Conclusion and Clinical Implications: A major focus of physical therapy is to promote health and wellness across the lifespan. This includes advocating the benefits of exercise, encouraging participation in physical activity, and educating on the risks of obesity. In the future health professionals as well and educators could utilize the Fitnessgram to provide an objective measure of a child's fitness level in reference to standardized age and gender specific norms.