Relationship between body composition and musculoskeletal fitness in Nigerian children
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Background and Objective: Substantial evidence indicates that high level of obesity assessed by body mass index (BMI) could affect the motor performance, musculoskeletal fitness and wellbeing of the youths. This study investigated the relationship between the BMI and musculoskeletal fitness in a cross-sectional sample of school children in Ado-Ekiti, Southwest Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Body weight, height and three components of musculoskeletal fitness (sit and reach, sit-ups and standing broad jump) were measured in 1229 school children (boys = 483, girls = 746, ages: 9-13 years). Body mass index was computed to classify participants into underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese categories. Results: Significantly low inverse correlation was observed between BMI and standing broad jump (SBJ) (r = -0.196, p<0.01), while underweight individuals were likely to perform poorly in sit and reach (OR = 0.98, CI = 0.97, 1.00), but had greater likelihood of performing well in sit-ups (OR = 1.01, CI = 0.99, 1.03) and standing broad jump (OR = 1.03, CI = 1.01, 1.06) test. Being overweight was associated with a poor sit and reach (OR = 0.99, CI = 0.92, 1.06) and standing broad jump (OR = 0.96, CI = 0.94, 0.98) performances, but greater propensity of sit-up (OR = 1.00, CI = 0.93, 1.08) performance. Obese participants were significantly associated with poor sit and reach (OR = 0.83, CI = 0.74, 0.91) and standing broad jump (OR = 0.94, CI = 0.92, 0.96), but greater likelihood of significant sit-ups (OR = 1.22, CI = 1.12, 1.33) compared to normal individuals’ performance. Conclusion: There was a significant negative relationship between the BMI and standing broad jump in Nigerian children and adolescents. Both underweight, overweight and obese participants performed poorly in either flexibility, sit-ups or SBJ test, obese individuals being mostly affected. Musculoskeletal fitness could serve as a pointer of possible health risks for both malnourished and excessively weighty youths.