Profiles of Physical Fitness Risk Behaviours in School Adolescents from the ASSO Project: A Latent Class Analysis

Antonio Palma, Ewan Thomas, Antonino Bianco, Joao Breda, Laura Capranica, Avery Faigenbaum, Monèm Jemni, Garden Tabacchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present investigation was to describe profiles of adolescents' fitness level, identify latent classes of fitness-related risk behaviours, and describe their sociodemographic and environmental predictors. In total, 883 adolescents (16.4 ± 1.4 years; 167.3 ± 10.4 cm; 62.8 ± 13.5 kg; 62.2% males) were assessed for personal and lifestyle information and for physical fitness components. Eleven possible fitness determinants and seven predictors were included. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to determine fitness-related risk behaviours. Logistic regressions predicted class membership and assessed associations with fitness levels and fitness components. Five latent classes were recognised: 1-virtuous, 30.7% of respondents; 2-low physical activity/sport, 18.8%; 3-incorrect alcohol/food habits, 25.8%; 4-health risk/overweight, 15.9%; 5-malaise/diseases, 8.8%. Sex, age, parents' overweightness/obesity and education, and school type predicted most classes significantly. Compared to class 1, class 2 had higher odds of having all poor fitness components except upper body maximal strength; class 4 had higher risk of low muscular endurance; and class 5 was likely to have lower maximal strength, muscular endurance, and speed/agility. Educating adolescents to reach a sufficient practice of PA/sport could help decreasing the risk of low health-related fitness more than discouraging them from using alcohol, addressing proper food behaviours and habits, and helping them understand their psychophysical malaise symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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