Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



Korean J Obes 2009; 18(2): 65-71

Published online June 1, 2009

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Evaluation of Physical Fitness in Terms of Levels of Obesity among Middle and
High School Students in Seoul

Mi Jung Park, Sang Hoon Suh(1)*

Department of Pediatrics, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine; and Laboratory of Exercise Physiology and Medicine, Department of Physical Education, Yonsei University(1)


Background: The prevalence of obesity in Korean
youth has increased substantially during the last decade as
a result of change in eating behaviors and lifestyles which
favor calorie accumulation. Although there has been a
rising concern about its negative influences on health and
fitness, investigations on the relationship between obesity
and fitness level of Korean youth are rare. Therefore, the
purpose of this study was to assess physical fitness levels
of Korean youth in terms of the obesity indices.
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis for determining
obesity index and fitness level was conducted among
2,385 healthy schoolers in Seoul (1,034 7th graders, 1,351
10th graders; 1,538 boys, 847 girls). The subjects were
categorized for the study as either underweight, normal,
mildly obese, moderately obese, or severely obese
depending on whether they were either under 80%,
between 80~120%, 120~130%, 130~150%, or above
150% of the obesity index, respectively. Fitness level was
determined by the scores on a battery of tests [50 m-run
(power), push-ups (boys) / chin-ups (girls), sit-ups,
standing long jump, sit-and-reach, long distance-run].
Results: Obese subjects had a significantly lower
fitness score compared to their non obese counterparts (P
< 0.05). The normal group among boys and the
underweight group among girls scored the highest in
fitness. The fitness score and obesity index were
negatively related in the rest of the groups.
Conclusion: Results of the present study demonstrated
that being underweight was not significantly related to
low fitness level, while obesity had a great effect on the

Keywords: Adolescent obesity, Physical fitness, Physical