Comparison of body composition (obesity) on FitnessGram performance, self-perception, and attitudes of middle school students

The presence of adolescent obesity in today's youth has become a major public health problem. Many adolescents, their parents, and health care providers are faced with an increase in body size and the repercussions that follow. This study analyzed adolescents' body mass index (BMI) and its relationship with physical fitness, physical activity enjoyment, self-perception and activity level of middle school aged (13-15 years old) students. This study was designed to answer the primary question: is body composition associated with FitnessGram performance, physical activity enjoyment, self-perception and activity level of middle school students? A quantitative design was employed in 67 participants (31 boys and 36 girls) to obtain data from the FitnessGram and a 30-item survey. BMI data indicated that the majority of all participants (57.45%) were either overweight or obese. There was a significant (p< 0.05) positive correlation between BMI and trunk lift (flexibility) (r = 0.28) and mile run time (r = 0.55) from the FitnessGram test. Survey data showed that less than half of participants (41.48%) have a positive self-perception. Participants' activity level outside of school was low, as they typically engaged in 1-2 hours of activity per week. Physical activity enjoyment was high; participants reported physical activity was enjoyable and fun. The results indicated that body composition was related to various components of FitnessGram performance. Keywords: obesity, body composition, FitnessGram performance, physical activity, self-perception, attitude, middle school students.