Dutch School children much less fit than 30 years ago

Dutch children from group 7 and 8 of Dutch primary school are significantly less fit than their peers of thirty years ago.

The fitness test that was taken in 1980 over 2,000 children scored a lot worse on all fronts. Even if the overweight children are not included, and only measure the healthy children, they still are no match for the children of that time.

That is the result from a research of Dorine Collard in the Division of Social Medicine VU University Medical Center.

Dorine Collard and her colleagues conducted a fitness test for over 2000 schoolchildren, in the year 2006. The children were measured for strength, speed, agility and coordination. Exactly the same test was conducted in 1980, more than 2,500 schoolchildren in the same age from 10 to 12 years.

The children of today preformed much less than 30 years ago. They scored worse on strength, speed, agility, and coordination (motor skills). Today there are significantly more children overweight than then, but even if that was not counted, there was still a large difference.

The exact cause of this loss of fitness was not investigated. The initial study of Collard’s is about sports and play injuries in children and advocate for encouraging children to exercise more. Collard: “Sports in primary school should receive more attention. It is important that children learn to move. Children must improve skills such as strength, velocity, agility and coordination.

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