Niessner, C., Utesch, T., Oriwol, D., Hanssen-Doose, A., Schmidt, S., Woll, A., Bös, K. & Worth, A. (2020). Representative Percentile Curves of Physical Fitness From Early Childhood to Early Adulthood: The MoMo Study, Frontiers in Public Health, 8.
Abstract Introduction: Monitoring of physical fitness in youth is important because physical
fitness is a summative indicator of health. From a developmental and preventive
perspective, physical fitness levels are relatively stable from childhood to early adulthood.
Thus, it is important to monitor physical fitness on a population based level being able to
intervene at early stages (1). In order to reliably assess and evaluate the physical fitness of
youth, a reliable system of standard values based on representative data is required. The
aim of this analysis is to report sex- and age-specific physical fitness percentile curves
from childhood to early adulthood in a nationwide sample in Germany.
Methods: We use data fromthe nationwide representativeMotorikModul (MoMo) Study
in Germany (data collection wave 1: 2009–2012; age: 4–23 years; n = 3,742; 50.1%
female). Physical fitness was assessed by means of the MoMo test profile covering
four dimensions of physical fitness (strength, endurance, coordination, and flexibility)
and including eight physical fitness items. Percentile curves were fitted using the LMS
transformation method of Cole and Green.
Results: Standardized age- and sex-specific physical fitness percentiles were calculated
for eight items: ergometric endurance testing, standing long jump, push-ups, sit-ups,
jumping side-ways, balancing backwards, static stand, and stand and reach test.
The physical fitness curves differ according to gender and the fitness dimension.
Physical fitness improvements with age are linear (e.g., max. strength) or curvilinear
(e.g., coordination) and have their stagnation points at different times over the course
Discussion: Our results provide for the first time sex- and age-specific physical
fitness percentile curves for Germany from 4 to 17 years. Differences in curve-shapes
indicating a timed and capacity-specific physical fitness development. Nationwide
German physical fitness percentiles can be useful in comparing different populations
(e.g., cross-country), reporting secular trends, comparing special groups, and to evaluate
physical fitness interventions.