C-34 Free Communication/Poster - Measurement of Physical Activity, Energy Cost, and Fitness: MAY 28, 2009 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM ROOM: Hall 4F
Possessing a limited perception of personal, health-related fitness could potentially exacerbate existing health problems or lead to harmful health consequences in the future. College students' perceptions of their own fitness level in comparison to their actual fitness level has not been examined in detail, specifically from a multi-component perspective.
PURPOSE: To examine the relationship between college students' self-perceived physical fitness level and measured level of physical fitness (specifically cardiorespiratory endurance, body composition, flexibility, and muscular endurance).
METHODS: Twenty students (10 male and 10 female, mean age 20.4 years, SD + 1.27) participated in the study. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Each subject completed an informed consent, a medical health history, a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire, and five scales from a modified version of the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ). Then, each subject underwent four fitness tests: air displacement plethysmography (body composition), submaximal treadmill test (cardiorespiratory endurance), standardized curl-up test (muscular endurance), and standardized sit-and-reach test (flexibility).
RESULTS: Descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) were calculated for all data, and Pearson Product-Moment Correlations were used to ascertain the relationship between scores from the health-related physical fitness tests and both the scores from the corresponding self-perceived fitness scales and scores from a global physical self-concept scale. A significant relationship was found between self-perceived body composition as determined with the PSDQ and measured body fat (r = -0.62, p < 0.05), as well as self-perceived cardiorespiratory endurance as determined with the PSDQ and measured cardiorespiratory endurance (r = 0.47, p < 0.05). No other significant relationships were found.
CONCLUSIONS: While the subjects' perception of their own body composition and cardiorespiratory endurance was significantly related to actual measures of these variables, perception of actual muscular fitness and actual flexibility was lacking. Further research is necessary to ascertain why these relationships occurred.