Purpose: The American Physical Therapy Association Section on Pediatrics developed a task force to summarize fitness guidelines for children and adolescents. The purposes of this article were to review components, measurement methods, and consequences of physical fitness, and to summarize evidence-based activity recommendations for youth.
Summary of Key Points: Health-related fitness is comprised of body composition, flexibility, cardiorespiratory endurance, and muscular strength and endurance. Each of these components is reviewed in terms of definition, assessment, normative values, and recommendations.
Conclusions: The task force supports the guidelines of the US Department of Health and Human Services, which state that to promote overall health and wellness, youth should participate in 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day.
Recommendations for Clinical Practice: Physical therapists should apply research relevant to health-related fitness when treating youth. Promoting fitness, health, and wellness in our communities is a responsibility all therapists should assume.