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Physical fitness and physical self-concept of male and female young adults in Qatar

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submitted on 2024-03-18, 06:20 and posted on 2024-03-18, 06:21 authored by Bryna C. R. Chrismas, Lina Majed, Zsuzsanna Kneffel


Physical inactivity is high within the Qatari population, particularly within females, and school-based environments, contributing to increased morbidity and mortality. School-based physical activity (PA) outcomes may be mediated by physical self-concept. Low physical self-concept may negatively impact PA engagement, compromising childhood and adolescent physical fitness, which may translate into adulthood. Normative physical fitness data for the Qatari population is unavailable. Stratifying normative physical fitness appears prudent, to not only allow comparisons to be made worldwide, but enable informed decisions for public health policy and future interventions in the Qatari population.


To establish the physical fitness of young adults in Qatar, and examine differences between males and females for physical self-concept, and engagement in school-based and extra-curricular PA.


186 (females n = 85) healthy participants [median (minimum—maximum) age: males = 21 (18–26), females = 21 (18–24) y; height: males = 1.74 (1.57–1.99), females = 1.61 (1.46–1.76) m; body mass: males = 71.9 (49.3–145.0), females = 56.8 (35.7–96.4) kg] completed the ALPHA-FIT test battery for adults (one leg stand, figure of eight run, handgrip strength, jump and reach, modified push-up, dynamic sit-up and 2 km walk), physical self-description questionnaire (measuring physical self-concept), and were asked to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to whether they participated in school-based and extra-curricular PA.


Data is reported as effect size; ±90% confidence limit. Males compared to females most likely performed better for dynamic sit-up (2.2; ±0.76), very likely better for the figure of eight run (0.86; ±0.42) and likely better for handgrip strength (2.1; ±0.75). Males likely had higher physical self-concept for coordination (0.78; ±0.37) and endurance (0.66; ±0.27) compared to females. There were no differences for school-based PA (p ≥ 0.78) or for extra-curricular PA for males (p ≥ 0.26) or females (p ≥ 0.21).


The data suggests that the young Qatari adult population has variable, yet generally low, physical fitness traits compared to individuals worldwide, likely due to their low PA. The precise aetiology for this is not well documented, yet such data may be prudent to evidence-inform strategies to improve physical fitness through increased PA (synergistic relationship), given the strong association between physical activity/fitness and morbidity/mortality.

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Published in: PLOS ONE
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English


Public Library of Science (PLoS)

Publication Year

  • 2019

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • College of Arts and Sciences - QU

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