How can we identify physical risks in children? Physical tests help us to know the health status of children. An example is the so-called “20-meter test” or “round-trip test”, a simple test that consists in making children run that distance.




The conclusion reached by the analysis of seven studies on the subject is that it is indeed a useful tool to detect the risk of developing a cardiovascular problem in adulthood.

This includes data on more than 9 thousand children and adolescents between 8 and 19 years old, from 14 different countries. 

Jonatan Ruiz, researcher of the Physical Education and Sports Department, coordinator of the study, states:  “These tests are used in schools. They offer us information of enormous value about the state of children’s health “

Actually, this test is used in most schools in Spain, as well as in many European countries and in the Americas (including Chile), to measure the aerobic capacity of minors in Physical Education classes.

According to the analysis, the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases in the future, in the case of children, ranged from minors with 6% to others with 39%. Among girls, the risk varied from those with 6% risk, to others with 86%.

“Below the recommended fitness levels we must raise a red flag to keep us on the alert,” says Ruiz.




According to doctor Bernardita Lopetegui, child cardiologist and assistant professor of the Department of Pediatrics of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of  Chile, “If used alone as a diagnostic at the beginning of the school year, it will reflect the condition of the children at that time. But if you compare it with a new evaluation after a few months of training, that would be useful. “

This would make it possible to identify the children with worse physical performance and to put in place an intervention to improve their physical condition.

Otherwise, “if a child performed poorly and maintains this condition, as an adult he/she will have very high risk of cardiovascular problems. It’s about protecting the health of adults from childhood. “

For Ruiz, it would be ideal to establish international standards related to the measurement of infant aerobic capacity, similar to those used to determine overweight or obesity, in order to favour the prevention of problems.

Source: El Mercurio.