Comparison of tests of physical fitness of student teachers at Cape Town

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Summary

The Harvard step test (modified for women) and a modified AAHPER test battery were performed by 144 White and Coloured student teachers, of whom 45 were students of physical education (PE). The rapid fitness index (RFI) was calculated for the Harvard step test and a composite criterion of fitness was derived from the results of the seven tests which comprise the AAHPER test battery.

For men and for women there was a highly significant correlation between the two estimates of physical fitness (RFI and AAHPER criterion) and a good correlation between the criterion and each of the individual AAHPER tests, the highest being with the standing broad jump. The correlation between RFI and individual AAHPER tests was poor in men but good in women. In both sexes the highest correlation was with the 600-yard run.

In general, both men and women PE students were fitter than their controls but there was no consistent difference between White and Coloured students in the results of the fitness tests although the White men and women were taller and heavier. The observed differences are probably not due to race but to different degrees of physical activity.

The work upon which this paper is based forms part of a thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Cape Town.