Normative values of aerobe fitness of Dutch adolescents, 12-17 years old, measured with the PACER-15 m test.

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


    Background: Aerobe fitness (AF) is an important component of physical fitness of children and adolescents. To assess the AF, the 20-m Shuttle Run Test (SRT-20) is often used. Unfortunately, there is frequently a lack of an at least 22 m physical facility to utilize this test indoor. By still using the SRT-20 in a small room, the velocity at which children are running is too low and the outcome of AF is assessed too high. Therefore, the PACER-15m test was chosen. This validated test measures AF over a distance of 15 m. Purpose: Aim of this study was to 1) compute age-and-sexe dependent normative data of the AF level of 12–17-year-old Dutch teenagers by using the PACER-15 test; 2) to determine the test-retest-reliability of the PACER-15.Methods: Adolescents of two secondary schools in the northern part of The Netherlands performed the PACER-15 test. At one school, the PACER-15 was performed twice. Weight and height were measured. Age- and gender specific percentiles were calculated for the Pacer-15 test. Furthermore, a regression equation was used, to determine individual predicted scores including the variables age (A, in years), gender (G, male =1, female =0), height (H in cm) and weight (W in kg) on the AF (number or laps). Relative reliability was calculated by the intra class correlation coefficient (ICC), absolute reliability by a Bland-Altman plot and the Limits of Agreement (LOA). Results: 985 Boys and 853 girls, in the age of 12 – 17 years, participated in this study. Sexe- and age-specific normative values were determined and expressed in percentiles (p 5-p 95). Boys scored higher than girls on AF. Physical fitness test performances gradually increased till 17 years in boys and hardly increased in girls after 13 years. The regression equation was: AF = -123.17 + 5.00 *A + 16.96*G + 0.93*H - 0.94*W. All variables were significant, with a P < 0.001. The level of explained variance was 0.30. The test-retest-reliability of the PACER-15 (n=875) was ICC 0.85 ( 95% CI: 0.83 – 0.87, p< 0.001) with a LOA of 25.7. Conclusions: This study provides age- and sexe-specific reference AF values of the PACER-15 test. Since length and weight differ between adolescents of the same age, the use of individual predictive scores are recommended above the use of group scores. The relative reliability of the test was excellent, whereas the absolute reliability was limited. In further research, normative values of aerobe fitness of children in the age of 6 – 11 years will be determined. Furthermore, aerobe fitness will be measured with the PACER-15 and with the SRT-20 to compare the outcome of both tests. Implications: The use of the PACER-15 test is recommended indoor, in places with small physical facilities of less than 22 m to avoid an overestimation of the AF. Since the absolute reliability of the test was limited, the test is less useful to detect individual progress of AF after a training period.
    Period2 Jul 2017
    Event titleWorld Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) Congress 2017
    Event typeConference
    LocationCape Town, , South AfricaShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionInternational


    • adolescents
    • fitness