Special health group students' functionality and physical fitness monitoring study


PhD, Associate Professor E.V. Perepelyukova
South Ural State Humanitarian-Pedagogical University, Chelyabinsk


Keywords: monitoring, physical fitness, female students, special health group, health.


Introduction. Testing of students’ physical fitness is among the components of pedagogical monitoring, performing the evaluating, stimulating and educational functions. The measurements results show not only the level of development of physical qualities, but also give a differentiated and objective evaluation of the process and results of physical education of students in general in order to shrewdly plan the educational and training process, implement an individual approach and form a conscious attitude to health in students.

Objective of the study was to make an analytical overview of the results of monitoring of the functional state and level of development of physical qualities of special health group female students and their dynamics in the course of the university education.

Methods and structure of the study. Among the health indicators is the state of the vegetative functions of the body (primarily, cardiovascular and respiratory ones) characterized by such indicators as: hypoxia tolerance and the ability to restore these functions after dosed muscular work. The adaptation of the respiratory system at rest was determined by the timed inspiratory (Stange’s test) and expiratory (Genche’s test) capacity tests, the state of the cardiovascular system – by Ruffier test. A battery of tests made it possible to determine the physical fitness level. Strength endurance was estimated by the maximum duration of the lower back extension. Speed-strength qualities were tested in three steps: one-minute sit-up test; one-minute leg lifter test; one-minute squat test, legs shoulder-width apart. Muscle strength was tested in the push-up test. The speed of movements was determined by the time of execution of the motor action in the 20 jumping jack test. Flexibility was assessed by means of the straight-leg stretch exercise. Physical working capacity and overall endurance were evaluated using the simplified Harvard step-test and its index (HSTI). Coordination was assessed by the accuracy and consistency of execution of the given exercise by different parts of the body. We also estimated fluency, consistency of movements while changing their mode, amplitude, time and efforts, lack of stiffness, beauty of movements. A total of 126 female students aged 16-20 years were examined during the study, all attributed to a special health group.

Results and discussion. According to the medical examination, 29.4% of ChSPU were attributed to a special health group for medical reasons. The analysis of the structure of the diagnosed diseases revealed the locomotor disorders (postural abnormality) in 29.1% of the female students, visual impairments (myopia) - in 28.9%, upper respiratory tract diseases - in 23.3%. A relatively high proportion of diseases of the external respiration system in the female students is apparently due to the climatic and environmental conditions of our region as the predisposing causes. The nervous system pathology, in particular vegetovascular dystonia, was diagnosed in 28.9% of the girls (of whom 37% had arterial hypertension and 63% - arterial hypotension). The above data show that many girls already have chronic pathologies at the time of entering university, which significantly reduces the level of their motor activity and physical fitness. This, in turn, entails a decrease in the overall working capacity and adaptability of the body. The test results are presented in Table 1.


Table 1. Physical fitness and functional indices in special health group female students (Х ± m)


1st year of study

2nd year of study

3rd year of study

4th year of study

Resting HR, bpm

83.2 ± 1.3

80.6 ± 1.2

78.5 ± 1.4

78.1 ± 1.3

Ruffier test, c.u.

10.6 ± 0.8

10.4 ± 0.9

9.9 ± 0.6

9.3 ± 0.5

Stange’s test, sec

42.6 ± 2.2

49.3 ± 1.2

53.6 ± 2.3

45.2 ± 1.9

Genche’s test, sec

30.6 ± 1.9

34.0 ± 2.2

35.1 ± 2.5

29.5 ± 1.5

Standing long jump, cm

133.8 ± 3.2

143.5 ± 4.6

145.8 ± 3.8

149.3 ± 3.5

1-minute sit-ups, number of reps

24.8± 1.6


25.3 ± 1.5



23.2 ± 1.9

1-minute leg lifter, number of reps

19.5 ± 1.7

23.4 ± 2.3

20.9 ± 1.6

20.4 ± 1.5

Lower back extension, sec

64.5 ± 6.6

61.9 ± 5.8


62.2 ± 6.5


59.3 ± 5.4


Push-ups, number of reps

4.8 ± 0.5

4.9 ± 0.5

5.9 ± 0.6


5.7 ± 0.8


1-minute squats, number of reps

39.7 ± 0.9


38.9 ± 1.5


40.2 ± 1.6

40.3 ±1.6

20 sec jumping jacks, number of reps

18.1 ± 0.2


17.5 ± 0.3


17.6 ± 0.5


18.0 ± 0.8


Straight-leg stretch exercise, cm

8.5 ± 1.0


10.4 ± 0.9


15.0 ± 1.2

12.9 ± 1.1

As shown in Table 1, the first-year female students have poor health, unsatisfactory state of the autonomic functions of the body, insufficient functional fitness and physical working capacity levels, which is expressed in the reduction of time in the timed inspiratory capacity test, increase of the Ruffier index, heart acceleration at rest and after a standard muscular load.

Next, the analysis of the dynamics of the functional state and physical fitness of the female students revealed the following:

  • resting HR does not change significantly throughout the academic year and reaches its maximum in the 1st year of study;

  • the Ruffier index characterizing the state of the cardiovascular system decreases by the end of each academic year, except for the 1st year of study, which testifies to poor adaptability and high tension of the functional systems of the body of the first-year female students during their adaptation to the university environment;

3) the level of adaptation of the respiratory system at rest (timed inspiratory and expiratory capacity tests) increases during the 1st-3rd years of study, then it decreases significantly

4) a statistically significant increase is observed in the values of the female students’ explosive power (standing long jump) and muscular strength of the shoulder girdle (push-ups), as well as the Ruffier index from the 1st to the 4th years of study;

5) the lowest flexibility and coordination values were registered in the first-year female students;

6) the indices of strength endurance of the upper abdominal muscles and flexibility increase year by year; the lowest values are normally observed in the first-year female students at the beginning of the academic year, the highest ones – in the third-year female students;

7) in general, the physical fitness level of the SHG female students increases progressively up to the beginning of the 3rd year of study, and it begins to decrease starting from the end of the 3rd year to the 4th year, which, we assume, is indicative of the insufficient volume of motor activity during this period (the training sessions are conducted once a week);

8) the highest increment of the physical fitness indices and the body functionality improvement in the SHG female students were observed during the 2nd year of studies.


  • the findings testify to the low physical fitness level and working capacity of the special health group female students;

  • regular physical education classes conducted according to the special physical training program for SHG have a significant positive effect on the respiratory system performance and development of flexibility;

  • being rather specific, the physical load imposed on the SHG female students has little training effect on the speed qualities of the shoulder girdle and speed-strength qualities of the leg muscles, neither does it affect the strength endurance of the back muscles;

  • the submitted statistical data on the level of physical fitness of the female students testify to the insufficient effectiveness of the traditional methods of physical education;

  • further work is needed to identify and systematize tests for female students with poor health, and to establish the standards for their levels of skills, abilities, development of motor qualities being applied in the Physical Education discipline.

The data obtained can be used to develop scientifically substantiated physical education curricula for female students with poor health. Further on, it is worthwhile investigating the ways to optimize individual indicators of students’ physical fitness.



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Corresponding author: perepeluk@cspu.ru



The study considers the ways to improve the female students’ physical education process so as to protect and improve the young people’s physical health. The study was performed at Chelyabinsk State Pedagogical University, with female students aged 16-20 years (n=126) attributed to a special health group being subject to the study. Objective of the study was to rate the health progress of the special health group (SHG) students who had been engaged in special physical training program at Chelyabinsk State Pedagogical University for four academic years since the entrance date. The pre-experimental test rates showed poor physical fitness and working capacity rates in the SHG female students. The special physical training program for the SHG students was found beneficial as verified by the notable improvements in the respiratory system performance and flexibility rates. The special physical training program for the SHG students was designed and managed so as to avoid training effects on the speed qualities of the shoulder girdle, speed-strength abilities of the lower limbs; and strength endurance of the dorsal muscles.