Macroregional Differences in Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Croatian Primary School Children


  • Leona Roca University of Zagreb, Faculty of Teacher Education
  • Marko Badric University of Zagreb, Faculty of Teacher Education
  • Ivan Prskalo aUniversity of Zagreb, Faculty of Teacher Education


exercise physiology; , physical fitness;, relative age effects; , students, young people



Purpose: Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is an important indicator of health. Previous studies have shown that regional affiliation and the socioeconomic development of the area significantly influence the development of CRF. The aim of this research was to identify whether there are any differences in CRF among primary school children based on the macroregion in which they live.

Methods: The study in-cluded 651 fourth-grade students from primary schools in the Republic of Croatia, aged 10.30±0.47 years. The sample of children was divided into three macroregions of the Republic of Croatia (Continental, City of Zagreb, Adriatic). The CRF was assessed using the 20-meter shuttle run test.

Results: The results indicate that children living in the region encompassing the city of Zagreb have sig-nificantly better results (45.77) in terms of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2Max), which is used to assess CRF, compared to students coming from the Continental region (44.31). Students from the Adriatic macroregion have significantly better results (45.34) compared to those from the Conti-nental macroregion. There was no statistically significant difference observed between students from the city of Zagreb and the Adriatic macroregion.

Conclusions: There is a great need to introduce physical exercise programs that affect the development of cardiorespiratory capacity in the Continental part of the Republic of Croatia, where it has been observed that students have a significantly lower level of cardiorespiratory fitness. There is a need to continue research that evaluates aerobic capacity in children and young people, and it should be based on direct measurements of aerobic capacity, by means of which more relevant data would be obtained, primarily on the values of maximum oxygen intake.




31-12-2023 — Updated on 06-01-2024


How to Cite

Roca, L., Badric, M., & Prskalo, I. (2024). Macroregional Differences in Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Croatian Primary School Children. Acta Kinesiologica, 17(2), 42–48. Retrieved from (Original work published December 31, 2023)



Original Scientific Article