Measured and Perceived Physical Fitness, Intention, and Self-Reported Physical Activity in Adolescence
Timo Jaakkola, Tracy Washington
DOI: 10.4236/ape.2011.12004   PDF    HTML     7,430 Downloads   16,895 Views   Citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the associations among measured physical fitness, perceived fitness, intention towards future physical activity and self-reported physical activity through junior high school years. Methods: Study participants included 122 Finnish students who were 13 years old during Grade 7. The sample was comprised of 80 girls and 42 boys from 3 junior high schools (Grades 7-9). During the autumn semester of Grade 7, students completed fitness tests and a questionnaire analyzing self-perception of their physical fitness. The questionnaire delivered at Grade 8 included intention towards future physical activity. At Grade 9 students’ self-reported physical activity levels. Results: Structural Equation Modelling revealed an indirect path from physical fitness to self-reported physical activity via perceived physical fitness and intention towards future physical activity. The model also demonstrated a correlation between perceived physical fitness and physical activity. Squared multiple correlations revealed that perceived physical fitness explained 33 % of the actual physical fitness. Conclusions: The results of this study highlight the role of physical and cognitive variables in the process of adoption of physical activity in adolescence.

Share and Cite:

Jaakkola, T. & Washington, T. (2011). Measured and Perceived Physical Fitness, Intention, and Self-Reported Physical Activity in Adolescence. Advances in Physical Education, 1, 16-22. doi: 10.4236/ape.2011.12004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] [1] Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179-211. doi:10.1016/0749-5978(91)90020-T
[2] Bagoien, T. E., & Halvari, H. (2005). Autonomous motivation: Involvement in physical activity, and perceived sport competence: Structural and mediator models. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 100, 3-21. doi:10.2466/pms.100.1.3-21
[3] Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY: Freeman.
[4] Booth, M. L., Macaskill, P., Owen, N., Oldenburg, B., Marcus, B. H., & Bauman, A. (2010). Stages of change in physical activity: A validation study in late adolescence. Health Education & Behavior, 37, 318-329. doi:10.1177/1090198109333281
[5] Caspersen, C. J., Powell, K. E., & Christenson, G. M. (1985). Physical activity, exercise and physical fitness: Definitions and distinctions for health-related research. Public Health Reports, 100, 126-31.
[6] Chatzisarantis, N. L. D., & Hagger, M. S. (2005). Effects of a brief intervention based on the theory of planned behavior on leisure-time physical activity participation. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 27, 470-487
[7] Dishman, R. K., Motl, R. W., Sallis, J. F., Dunn, A. L., Birnbaum, A. S., Welk, G. J., Bedimo-Rung, A. L., Voorhees, C. C., & Jobe, J. B. (2005). Self-management strategies mediate self-efficacy and physical activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 29, 10-18. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2005.03.012
[8] Epstein, J. L. (1989). Family structures and student motivation: A developmental perspective. In C. Ames and R. Ames (Eds.), Research on motivation in education (pp. 259-295). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
[9] EUROFIT (1988). Handbook for the eurofit tests of physical fitness. Rome: Committee for the Development of Sport, Council of Europe.
[10] Hagger, M. S., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. D. (2007). The trans-contextual model of motivation. In M. S. Hagger and N. L. D. Chatzisarantis (Eds.), Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in exercise and sport (pp. 54-70). Champaign, Il: Human Kinetics.
[11] Hagger, M. S., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. D. (2009). Integrating the theory of planned behavior and self-determination theory in health behavior: A meta-analysis. British Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 275-302. doi:10.1348/135910708X373959
[12] Hagger, M. S., Chatzisarantis, N. L. D., & Harris, J. (2006). From psychological need satisfaction to intentional behavior: Testing a motivational sequence in two behavioral contexts. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 131-148. doi:10.1177/0146167205279905
[13] Hagger, M. S., Chatzisarantis, N. L. D., Biddle, S. J. H., & Orbell, S. (2001). Antecedents of children’s physical activity intentions and behavior: Predictive validity and longitudinal effects. Psychology and Health, 16, 391-407. doi:10.1080/08870440108405515
[14] Hagger, M. S., Chatzisarantis, N. L. D., Culverhouse, T., & Biddle, S. J. H. (2003). The processes by which perceived autonomy support in physical education promotes leisure-time physical activity intentions and behavior: A trans-contextual model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 784-795. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.95.4.784
[15] Hagger, M. S., Chatzisarantis, N. L. D., Barkoukis, V., Wang, J. C. K., Hein, V., & Karsai, I. (2007). Cross-cultural generalizability of the theory of planned behavior among young people in a physical activity context. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 29, 1-20.
[16] Harter, S. (1978). Effectance motivation reconsidered: Toward a developmental model. Human Development, 21, 34-64. doi:10.1159/000271574
[17] Huotari, P., S??kslahti, A., & Watt, A. (2009). Associations between the self-estimated and actual physical fitness scores of Finnish Grade 6 students. Facta Universitatis: Series Physical Education and Sport, 7, 27-36.
[18] Huotari, P. R. T., Nupponen, H., Laakso, L., & Kujala, U. M. (2009). Secular trends in aerobic fitness performance in 13-18-year-old adolescents from 1976 to 2001. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 44, 968-972. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2008.055913
[19] Huotari, P. R. T., Nupponen, H., Laakso, L., & Kujala, U. M. (2010). Secular trends in muscular fitness among Finnish adolescents. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 38, 739-747. doi:10.1177/1403494810384425
[20] Larson, L. A. (1974). Fitness, health, and work capacity. International standards for assessment. New York, NY: Macmillan.
[21] Lintunen, T. (1995). Self-perceptions, fitness, and exercise in early adolescence: A four-year follow-up study. Studies in Sport, Physical Education and Health no. 41. Jyv?skyl?: University of Jyv?skyl?.
[22] Lippke, S., Ziegelmann, J. P., & Schwarzer, R. (2004). Behavioral intentions and action plans promote physical exercise: A longitudinal study with orthopaedic rehabilitation patients. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 26, 470-483.
[23] Malina, R. (2001). Physical activity and fitness: Pathways from childhood to adulthood. American Journal of Human Biology, 13, 162-172. doi:10.1002/1520-6300(200102/03)13:2<162::AID-AJHB1025>3.0.CO;2-T
[24] Motl, R. W., Dishman, R. K., Saundres, R. P., Dowda, M., Felton, G., Ward, D. S., & Pate, R. R. (2002). Examining social-cognitive determinants of intention and physical activity among Black and White adolescent girls using structural equation modelling. Health Psychology, 21, 459-467. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.21.5.459
[25] Nader, P. R., Bradley, R. H., & Houts, R. M. (2008). Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity from ages 9 to 15 years. Journal of American Medical Association, 300, 295-305. doi:10.1001/jama.300.3.295
[26] Nupponen, H., Soini, H., & Telama, R. (1999). Koululaisten kunnon ja liikehallinnan mittaaminen. [Measurement of school students’ physical fitness and motor skills] Research Reports on Sport and Health 118. Jyv?skyl?: Research Center for Sport and Health Sciences.
[27] Prochaska, J. J., Sallis, J. F., & Long, B. (2001). A physical activity screening measure for the use with adolescents in primary care. Archives in Pediatric Adolescence Medicine, 155, 554-559.
[28] Rhodes, R. E., Macdonald, H. M., & McKay, H. A. (2006). Predicting physical activity intention and behavior among children in a longitudinal sample. Social Science & Medicine, 62, 3146-3156. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.11.051
[29] Safrit, M. J. (1990). The validity and reliability of fitness tests for children: A review. Pediatric Exercercise Science, 2, 9-28.
[30] Sallis, J. F., Prochaska, J. J., & Taylor, W. C. (2000). A review of correlates of physical activity of children and adolescents. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32, 963-975. doi:10.1097/00005768-200005000-00014
[31] Shephard, R. J. (2003). Limits to the measurement of habitual physical activity by questionnaires. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 37, 197-206. doi:10.1136/bjsm.37.3.197
[32] Standage, M., Duda, J. L., & Ntoumanis, N. (2003a). Predicting motivational regulations in physical education: The interplay between dispositional goal orientations, motivational climate and perceived competence. Journal of Sports Sciences, 21, 631-647. doi:10.1080/0264041031000101962
[33] Standage, M., Duda, J. L., & Ntoumanis, N. (2003b). A model of contextual motivation in physical education: Using constructs from self-determination and achievement goal theories to predict physical activity intentions. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 97-110. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.95.1.97
[34] Standage, M., Duda, J. L., & Ntoumanis, N. (2005). A test of self- determination theory in school physical education. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 75, 411-433. doi:10.1348/000709904X22359
[35] Telama, R., & Yang, X. (2000). Decline of physical activity from youth to young adulthood in Finland. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32, 1617-1622. doi:10.1097/00005768-200009000-00015
[36] Telama, R., Yang, X., Viikari, J., V?lim?ki, I., Wanne, O., & Raitakari, O. (2005). Physical activity from childhood to adulthood: A 21-year tracking study. Americal Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 267-273. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2004.12.003
[37] Tremblay, M. S., Inman, J. W., & Willms, J. D. (2000). The relationship between physical activity, self-esteem, and academic achievement in 12-Year-Old Children. Pediatric Exercise Science, 12, 312-323.
[38] Wallhead, T. L., & Ntoumanis, N. (2004). Effects of a sport education intervention on students’ motivational responses in physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 23, 4-18.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.