Cardiorespiratory and Muscular Fitness in Children and Adolescents with Obesity

Brandon J. Dykstra, Garett J. Griffith, Matthew S. Renfrow, Anthony D. Mahon, Matthew P. Harber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Examine the current state of literature related to the impact of obesity in children and adolescents on health-related physical fitness and the resultant cardiometabolic disease risk. Recent Findings: Cardiorespiratory fitness of children and adolescents has declined over the past few decades which corresponds with an increase in obesity rates. Children with obesity are more likely to have low cardiorespiratory fitness which is associated with higher cardiometabolic disease risk and poorer mental health. The impact of obesity on muscular fitness in children and adolescents is more difficult to ascertain, but in general measures of physical function are lower in children with obesity which has also been associated with higher cardiometabolic disease risk. Summary: Components of health-related physical fitness are trending negatively in children and adolescents and appear to be related to the increase in prevalence of obesity. The resultant cardiometabolic disease risk has also risen which suggests a greater disease burden in the future. These disparaging findings highlight the need for aggressive interventions to improve physical fitness in children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Cardiology Reports
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Aerobic fitness
  • Exercise
  • Muscle endurance
  • Muscle power
  • Muscle strength
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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