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      Physical fitness of Latin America children and adolescents: a protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis


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          Physical fitness (PF) is an important indicator of health in children and adolescents. Internationally, test batteries have been used to assess overall PF. In Latin America, however, while PF has been widely measured, there is no accepted test battery, making it difficult to monitor and/or compare the PF levels of Latin children. The aim of this study, therefore, is to systematically review and potentially meta-analyse the peer-reviewed literature regarding the assessment of PF in Latin American children and adolescents.

          Methods and analysis

          This systematic review and meta-analysis will follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols statement. The systematic literature search will be performed in MEDLINE, Scopus, SciELO, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, SPORTDiscus, LILACS and Latindex (Spanish) to locate articles published up to April 2021. Eligible studies will include both descriptive and analytic study designs. Meta-analyses are planned for sufficiently homogeneous PF outcomes with regard to statistical and methodological characteristics. Narrative syntheses are planned for PF outcomes that are considered to be too heterogeneous. The statistical program STATA V.15 will be used for meta-analyses, with subgroup analyses performed according to the characteristics of included studies.

          Ethics and dissemination

          This systematic review and meta-analysis protocol is designed to provide updated evidence on the PF of Latin American children and adolescents. Findings from this review may be useful for teachers, researchers and other professionals responsible for paediatric fitness and health promotion/surveillance. The results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed scientific publications, conferences, educational talks and infographics.

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          Most cited references38

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          Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 statement

          Systematic reviews should build on a protocol that describes the rationale, hypothesis, and planned methods of the review; few reviews report whether a protocol exists. Detailed, well-described protocols can facilitate the understanding and appraisal of the review methods, as well as the detection of modifications to methods and selective reporting in completed reviews. We describe the development of a reporting guideline, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses for Protocols 2015 (PRISMA-P 2015). PRISMA-P consists of a 17-item checklist intended to facilitate the preparation and reporting of a robust protocol for the systematic review. Funders and those commissioning reviews might consider mandating the use of the checklist to facilitate the submission of relevant protocol information in funding applications. Similarly, peer reviewers and editors can use the guidance to gauge the completeness and transparency of a systematic review protocol submitted for publication in a journal or other medium.
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            World Health Organization 2020 guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour

            Objectives To describe new WHO 2020 guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Methods The guidelines were developed in accordance with WHO protocols. An expert Guideline Development Group reviewed evidence to assess associations between physical activity and sedentary behaviour for an agreed set of health outcomes and population groups. The assessment used and systematically updated recent relevant systematic reviews; new primary reviews addressed additional health outcomes or subpopulations. Results The new guidelines address children, adolescents, adults, older adults and include new specific recommendations for pregnant and postpartum women and people living with chronic conditions or disability. All adults should undertake 150–300 min of moderate-intensity, or 75–150 min of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or some equivalent combination of moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, per week. Among children and adolescents, an average of 60 min/day of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity across the week provides health benefits. The guidelines recommend regular muscle-strengthening activity for all age groups. Additionally, reducing sedentary behaviours is recommended across all age groups and abilities, although evidence was insufficient to quantify a sedentary behaviour threshold. Conclusion These 2020 WHO guidelines update previous WHO recommendations released in 2010. They reaffirm messages that some physical activity is better than none, that more physical activity is better for optimal health outcomes and provide a new recommendation on reducing sedentary behaviours. These guidelines highlight the importance of regularly undertaking both aerobic and muscle strengthening activities and for the first time, there are specific recommendations for specific populations including for pregnant and postpartum women and people living with chronic conditions or disability. These guidelines should be used to inform national health policies aligned with the WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018–2030 and to strengthen surveillance systems that track progress towards national and global targets.
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              Physical fitness in childhood and adolescence: a powerful marker of health.

              This review aims to summarize the latest developments with regard to physical fitness and several health outcomes in young people. The literature reviewed suggests that (1) cardiorespiratory fitness levels are associated with total and abdominal adiposity; (2) both cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness are shown to be associated with established and emerging cardiovascular disease risk factors; (3) improvements in muscular fitness and speed/agility, rather than cardiorespiratory fitness, seem to have a positive effect on skeletal health; (4) both cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness enhancements are recommended in pediatric cancer patients/survivors in order to attenuate fatigue and improve their quality of life; and (5) improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness have positive effects on depression, anxiety, mood status and self-esteem, and seem also to be associated with a higher academic performance. In conclusion, health promotion policies and physical activity programs should be designed to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, but also two other physical fitness components such us muscular fitness and speed/agility. Schools may play an important role by identifying children with low physical fitness and by promoting positive health behaviors such as encouraging children to be active, with special emphasis on the intensity of the activity.

                Author and article information

                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                3 May 2021
                : 11
                : 5
                [1 ] departmentGrupo de Investigación en Educación Física, Salud y Calidad de Vida, Facultad de Educación , Universidad Autónoma de Chile , Temuco, Chile
                [2 ] departmentInstituto Superior de Educación Física , Universidad de la Republica , Rivera, Uruguay
                [3 ] departmentHealth and Social Research Center , Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha , Cuenca, Spain
                [4 ] departmentDepartment of Education, Health and Behavior Studies , University of North Dakota , Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA
                [5 ] departmentAlliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA), School of Health Sciences , University of South Australia , Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
                [6 ] departmentDepartment of Sports and Computer Science , Universidad Pablo de Olavide , Seville, Spain
                [7 ] departmentGrupo de Investigación en Análisis del Rendimiento Humano , Universidad de la República , Rivera, Uruguay
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Professor Andrés Godoy-Cumillaf; andres.godoy@ 123456uautonoma.cl
                © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

                This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

                Public Health
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                paediatrics,public health,sports medicine
                paediatrics, public health, sports medicine


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