Quality of Life Research

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 1515–1523 | Cite as

Health-related quality of life, obesity, and fitness in schoolchildren: the Cuenca study

  • Pablo Franquelo Morales
  • Mairena Sánchez-López
  • Pablo Moya-Martínez
  • Jorge Cañete García-Prieto
  • María Martínez-Andrés
  • Noelia Lahoz García
  • Vicente Martínez-Vizcaíno



The purpose of this study was to analyze the association of weight status and physical fitness with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and to examine the independent association of body mass index (BMI), cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and musculoskeletal fitness (MF) with HRQoL in schoolchildren.


Cross-sectional study of 1,158 schoolchildren, 8–11 years, from 20 schools in the Cuenca province, Spain. We measured weight, height, and physical fitness, measured by CRF (20-m shuttle run test) and MF index by summing the age–sex z scores of handgrip strength test/weight + standing broad jump test. Self-reported HRQoL was measured by KIDSCREEN-52 questionnaire.


Normal weight boys scored better in physical well-being, mood and emotions, autonomy, and social support and peers dimensions than overweight/obese boys. The mean in self-perception dimensions was lower in obese girls compared to normal weight or overweight girls. Higher levels of CRF and MF were associated with better physical well-being in both genders. Multiple linear regression models showed that the influence of MF in boys and CRF in girls on HRQoL was greater than that of overweight.


This is one of the first studies that assess the association of CRF and MF with HRQoL while controlling for BMI. CRF and MF are closely related to HRQoL, in particular to physical well-being. Improving fitness could be a strategy of particular interest for improving the HRQoL of schoolchildren.


Health-related quality of life Schoolchildren Cardiorespiratory fitness Musculoskeletal fitness Obesity 



Body mass index


Cardiorespiratory fitness


Health-related quality of life


Musculoskeletal fitness


Musculoskeletal fitness index



We thank the schools, families, and children for their enthusiastic participation in the study. This study was funded by the Ministry of Education and Science-Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha (PII1I09-0259-9898 and POII10-0208-5325), and Ministry of Health (FIS PI081297). Additional funding was obtained from the Research Network on Preventative Activities and Health Promotion (Ref.—RD06/0018/0038).

Conflicting interests

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Franquelo Morales
    • 1
  • Mairena Sánchez-López
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pablo Moya-Martínez
    • 2
  • Jorge Cañete García-Prieto
    • 2
  • María Martínez-Andrés
    • 2
  • Noelia Lahoz García
    • 2
  • Vicente Martínez-Vizcaíno
    • 2
  1. 1.Emergency DepartmentHospital Virgen de la LuzCuencaSpain
  2. 2.Social and Health Care Research CenterUniversity of Castilla-La ManchaCuencaSpain
  3. 3.School of EducationUniversity of Castilla-La ManchaCiudad RealSpain

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