Field-Based Fitness Assessment in Youth
Health-related components of physical fitness are specifically associated with health outcomes and can be measured using gold standard laboratory methods that are limited in a school or community setting due to resource, technical, and time constraints or field-based measures that are time and cost-efficient for use in schools and population-level settings. Fitness tests are generally based on one of two types of standards: criterion and norm referenced. Norm-referenced fitness standards rank children’s performance relative to peers of the same age and gender. As with any form of assessment, the validity and reliability of fitness assessments are of key importance to allow practitioners to accurately assess the components of fitness. This is particularly important when examining the impact of interventions and policies designed to improve one or more components of fitness over time or when relating results to health outcomes.