Volume 8, Issue 5, September 2020, Page: 83-90
Assessment of Physical Fitness and Its Association with Sympathetic Activation Among the Students of Pokhara University, Nepal
Bijay Subedi, School of Health & Allied Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Pokhara University, Pokhara, Nepal
Bishwas Subedi, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal
Sapana Bhandari, School of Health & Allied Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Pokhara University, Pokhara, Nepal
Sabin Poudel, School of Health & Allied Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Pokhara University, Pokhara, Nepal
Khem Raj Joshi, School of Health & Allied Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Pokhara University, Pokhara, Nepal
Received: Sep. 16, 2020;       Accepted: Oct. 5, 2020;       Published: Oct. 13, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.ejpm.20200805.15      View  32      Downloads  69
A 3-minute step test provides a feasible, low cost procedure with minimal risk to the participant for assessing physical fitness compared to maximal exercise testing. Test assessing the autonomic function (sympathetic wing) evaluates the cardiovascular reflex like increased blood pressure triggered by performing specific stimulating maneuvers such as Isometric Hand Grip Test (IHGT). We assessed & categorized the fitness level using a 3 min step test and its association with sympathetic activation during IHGT in university level students with sound health. There is increasing evidence of an association between Physical Fitness and academic performance. Two hundred consenting healthy students studying at Pokhara University (largest in western region of Nepal) aged 17-25 years underwent sub-maximal exercise as per the protocol of 3 min-step test given by Young Man’s Christian Associations (YMCA) to categorize as good & poor being based on recovery heart rate. Each groups undertook IHGT & changes in Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) were noted. About two third of the study participants were female and 70% of total students were of poor fitness level. Fitness level and sex was significantly associated (P=0.041, OR=1.92, CI=1.024- 3.606). More of the male participants had good fitness in comparison to that of the female participants (38.9% vs 24.8%). Differences in Diastolic Blood Pressure during IHGT and at rest (assess sympathetic activation during stress) was significantly associated with fitness level (P<0.001, OR=1.32, CI=1.201-1.446). Majority of university level students had poor fitness with high proportion in female. Students with good fitness level had good sympathetic activation to physical stress as compared to those with poor fitness level. Physical fitness (Cardiorespiratory fitness) is proven to induce angiogenesis in the motor cortex and increases blood flow, improving brain vascularization which could affect cognitive performance. So measuring physical fitness of university students at the time of admission or during the study period could help to predict their academic achievements through their reasoning function and ability of coping various stresses that they might encounter during academic journey. Those with poor physical fitness would be advised to improve the fitness by promoting physical activity.
Physical Fitness, Academic Performance, University Students, Autonomic Response, 3 Min-step Test, Isometric Hand Grip Test, Nepal
To cite this article
Bijay Subedi, Bishwas Subedi, Sapana Bhandari, Sabin Poudel, Khem Raj Joshi, Assessment of Physical Fitness and Its Association with Sympathetic Activation Among the Students of Pokhara University, Nepal, European Journal of Preventive Medicine. Vol. 8, No. 5, 2020, pp. 83-90. doi: 10.11648/j.ejpm.20200805.15
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Denolin H. Guidelines for exercise testing and prescription, edited by american college of sports medicine lea & febiger, philadelphia (1991) 314 pages, illustrated, $15.00 isbn: 0–8121–1324–1. Clinical Cardiology. 1992; 15 (2): 139-40.
Montgomery DL, Reid G, Koziris LP. Reliability and validity of three fitness tests for adults with mental handicaps. Canadian Journal of Sport Sciences. 1992; 17: 309-09.
Pescatello LS, Riebe D, Thompson PD, editors. ACSM's guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2014.
Schumann, A., Andrack, C. and Baer, K. J. Differences of sympathetic and parasympathetic modulation in major depression. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 2017; 79, 324-331.
Hartikainen JE, Tahvanainen KU, Kuusela TA. Short-term measurement of heart rate variability. In Clinical guide to cardiac autonomic tests. Springer, Dordrecht. 1998; pp. 149-176.
VAN DEN BERG MP, SMIT AJ. Bedside autonomic function testing in patients with vasovagal syncope. Pacing and clinical electrophysiology. 1997; 20 (8): 2039-42.
Seals DR, Victor RG. Regulation of muscle sympathetic nerve activity during exercise in humans. Exercise and sport sciences reviews. 1991; 19: 313-49.
de Oliveira Sarmento A, da Cruz Santos A, Trombetta IC, Dantas MM, Marques AC, do Nascimento LS, Barbosa BT, Dos Santos MR, do Amparo Andrade M, Jaguaribe-Lima AM, do Socorro Brasileiro-Santos M. Regular physical exercise improves cardiac autonomic and muscle vasodilatory responses to isometric exercise in healthy elderly. Clinical interventions in aging. 2017; 12: 1021.
McCloskey DI, Mitchell JH. Reflex cardiovascular and respiratory responses originating in exercising muscle. The Journal of physiology. 1972; 224 (1): 173-86.
Kiviniemi AM, Perkiömäki N, Auvinen J, Niemelä M, Tammelin T, Puukka K, Ruokonen A, Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi S, Tulppo MP, Järvelin MR, Jämsä T. Fitness, fatness, physical activity, and autonomic function in midlife. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2017; 49 (12): 2459-68.
Belsky DW, Caspi A, Israel S, Blumenthal JA, Poulton R, Moffitt TE. Cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive function in midlife: neuroprotection or neuroselection? Annals of neurology. 2015; 77 (4): 607-17.
Hallal PC, Andersen LB, Bull FC, Guthold R, Haskell W, Ekelund U, Lancet Physical Activity Series Working Group. Global physical activity levels: surveillance progress, pitfalls, and prospects. The lancet. 2012; 380 (9838): 247-57.
The 3-minute step test by Jason Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer. Available from: https://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1115.
College Factual ®. The University of Texas Health Science Center; Diversity Breakdown. Available from: https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/the-university-oftexashealth-sciencecenter-at-san-antonio/student-life/diversity/chart-gender diversity.html.
Education matters; Scroll. in. July 14 2016. Available from: https://scroll.in/article/811696/there-are-no-indian-universities-in-theworlds-top250list-heres-how-javadekar-can-change-that.
Yan Z, Cardinal BJ. Increasing Asian International College Students' Physical Activity Behavior: A Review of the Youth Physical Activity Promotion Model. Health Educator. 2013; 45 (1): 35-45.
Kenya S, Brodsky M, Divale W, Allegrante JP, Fullilove RE. Effects of immigration on selected health risk behaviors of Black college students. Journal of American college health. 2003; 52 (3): 113-20.
Chen LJ, Fox KR, Ku PW, Taun CY. Fitness change and subsequent academic performance in adolescents. Journal of School Health. 2013; 83 (9): 631-8.
Cardinal BJ, Lee JY, Kim YH, Lee H, Li KK, Si Q. Behavioral, demographic, psychosocial, and sociocultural concomitants of stage of change for physical activity behavior in a mixed-culture sample. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2009; 23 (4): 274-8.
Callaghan P, Eves FF, Norman P, Chang AM, Lung CY. Applying the transtheoretical model of change to exercise in young Chinese people. British journal of health psychology. 2002; 7 (3): 267-82.
Lewis MV, Szabo RA, Weiner KR, McCall L, Piterman L. Cultural barriers to exercise amongst the ethnic elderly. Internet Journal of Health Promotion. 1997: 1-7.
Keating XD, Huang Y, Guan J, Deng M, Zhu L, Dwan C. An examination of southern Chinese collegiate leisure-time exercise patterns. ICHPERSD J Research. 2006; 1 (2): 18-26.
Biddle S, Goudas M. Analysis of children's physical activity and its association with adult encouragement and social cognitive variables. Journal of School Health. 1996; 66 (2): 75-8.
Okely AD, Booth ML, Chey T. Relationships between body composition and fundamental movement skills among children and adolescents. Research quarterly for exercise and sport. 2004; 75 (3): 238-47.
Sallis JF, Owen N. Ecological models. Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice. 1997; 2: 403-24.
Yoh T, Yang H, Gordon B. Status of participation in physical activity among international students attending colleges and universities in the United States. College Student Journal. 2008; 42 (4).
Haskell WL, Lee IM, Pate RR, Powell KE, Blair SN, Franklin BA, Macera CA, Heath GW, Thompson PD, Bauman A. Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2007; 116 (9): 1081.
Calfas KJ, Sallis JF, Lovato CY, Campbell J. Physical activity and its determinants before and after college graduation. Medicine, Exercise, Nutrition, and Health. 1994; 3 (323-334).
Suminski RR, Petosa R, Utter AC, Zhang JJ. Physical activity among ethnically diverse college students. Journal of American College Health. 2002; 51 (2): 75-80.
Salamudin N, Harun MT. Physical activity index among Malaysian youth. Asian Social Science. 2013; 9 (12): 99.
Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Davis H, Kelley TR, Strong WB. Central adiposity and hemodynamic functioning at rest and during stress in adolescents. International Journal of Obesity (2005). 1998; 22 (11): 1079.
Sala R, Malacarne M, Pagani M, Lucini D. Association between aerobic fitness and indices of autonomic regulation: cardiovascular risk implications. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness. 2015; 56 (6): 794-801.
Bakke EF, Hisdal J, Kroese AJ, Jørgensen JJ, Stranden E. Blood pressure response to isometric exercise in patients with peripheral atherosclerotic disease. Clinical physiology and functional imaging. 2007; 27 (2): 109-15.
Gnanadurai TK, Vajravelu HR, Krishnan P, Balaji R, Ayyavoo S. Assessment of Sympathetic Nerve Activity by Isometric Handgrip Test in Young Cigarette Smokers. Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal. 2016; 9 (2): 623-9.
Oliveira RS, Barker AR, Wilkinson KM, Abbott RA, Williams CA. Is cardiac autonomic function associated with cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity in children and adolescents? A systematic review of cross-sectional studies. International Journal of Cardiology. 2017; 236: 113-22.
Browse journals by subject