Am J Hum Biol 2020 09 5;32(5):e23396. Epub 2020 Feb 5.
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 7206, Paris, France.
Objectives: Our purpose was to explore the levels of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and the relationship between CRF, physical activity, and other physical traits in traditional and nontraditional Tarahumara, and Mestizo adolescents from Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico.
Methods: A sample of 87 adolescents aged 16.9 ± 1.2 years (mean ± SD) performed the Margaria step test to quantify CRF. Physical activity was estimated using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Blood pressure (BP) and anthropometric measures were taken to estimate body composition and other physical characteristics.
Results: Traditional Tarahumara showed higher levels of CRF than nontraditional Tarahumara and Mestizo adolescents (F = 5.5, p = .006). The time allotted to sedentary activities was higher in the Mestizo and nontraditional Tarahumara (χ = 10.17, p = .006). In nontraditional Tarahumara, adiposity was associated with CRF reduction (r = -.63, p = .00), while vigorous physical activities were positively associated with CRF (r = .43, p = .03) and negatively associated with the z-score of body fat (r = -.42 p = .03). Finally, CRF was negatively associated with fat percentage (r = -.27, p = .00) and systolic blood pressure (r = -.09, p = .04) in the Mestizo. In this group, walking activities (r = -.25, p = .003) and total physical activity score (r = -.11, p = .03) had a positive association with the CRF, while moderate activities had a negative association with the body mass index (r = .09, p = .04), and vigorous activities were negatively associated with body weight (r = .11, p = .03).
Conclusions: In the sampled nontraditional Tarahumara and Mestizo adolescents, moderate and vigorous physical activities were important factors in determining levels in CRF, fat percentage, and other health parameters.