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Physical Fitness


Physical fitness is defined as Characteristics that permit a good performance of a given physical task in a specified physical, social, and psychological environment.

Physical fitness comprises multiple components. However, evidence shows cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness to be important indicators of for health and well-being in young people [18] these components were utilised within this narrative for physical fitness. Such an approach was also used in the 2018 Australian Report Card.


Average percentile achieved on certain physical fitness indicators based on the normative values published by Tomkinson et al. (2018).

Y data o arolygon
  1. Swansea University Fun Fitness days (2013 – 2020) through the Swan-Linx & Bridge-Linx projects, children aged 9 - 12 years (n=4,778)

The overall grade for physical fitness was decided upon using comparison of the best available data to the Tomkinson et al (2018) data as indicated by the AHK Global Matrix 4.0 benchmarks. Available data for both cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular fitness were used. Based on the best available data from the Swansea University Fun Fitness Days data, the Research Working Group assigned a C- to this category as for both cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular fitness boys and girls from Wales typically fall into the 40th percentile.

There remains a lack of nationally representative data for all components of fitness across childhood and adolescence. Consideration should be given to how such surveillance methods could be implemented to monitor the fitness of young people so that the effectiveness of different policy, programmes and initiatives on physical fitness can be assessed.

To improve this grade, greater opportunities for young people in Wales to regularly engage with health-enhancing levels of physical activity are required. These should come from the full range of contexts including:

  • Schools - Recent curriculum developments in Wales provide an excellent opportunity to consider how young people can be best supported to lead active and healthy lives, particularly under the health and well-being area of learning experience.
  • School based physical education
  • Active play
  • Extracurricular clubs
  • Active transport

Fun and engaging activities that maximise opportunity for physical activity and develop long-lasting motivation for physical activity throughout life should be the focus.