Reliability of International Fitness Scale (IFIS) in Chinese Children and Adolescents

Ran Bao, Sitong Chen, Kaja Kastelic, Clemens Drenowatz, Ming Hui Li, Jialin Zhang, Lei Wang

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: It has previously been shown that the International Fitness Scale (IFIS) is a reliable and valid instrument when used in numerous regions and subgroups, but it remains to be determined whether the IFIS is a reliable instrument for use with Chinese children and adolescents. If the reliability of the IFIS can be verified, populational surveillance and monitoring of physical fitness (PF) can easily be conducted. This study aimed to test the reliability of the IFIS when used with Chinese children and adolescents.

METHODS: The convenience sampling method was used to recruit study participants. In total, 974 school-aged children and adolescents between 11 and 17 years of age were recruited from three cities in Southeast China: Shanghai, Nanjing and Wuxi. The study participants self-reported demographic data, including age (in years) and sex (boy or girl). The participants completed the questionnaire twice within a two-week interval.

RESULTS: A response rate of 95.9% resulted in a sample of 934 participants (13.7 ± 1.5 years, 47.4% girls) with valid data. On average, the participants were 13.7 ± 1.5 years of age. The test-retest weighted kappa coefficients for overall fitness, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle fitness, speed and agility and flexibility were 0.52 (Std. errs. = 0.02), 0.51 (Std. errs. = 0.02), 0.60 (Std. errs. = 0.02), 0.55 (Std. errs. = 0.02) and 0.55 (Std. errs. = 0.02), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The International Fitness Scale was found to have moderate reliability in the assessment of (self-reported) physical fitness in Chinese children and adolescents. In the future, the validity of the IFIS should be urgently tested in Chinese subgroup populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number531
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Early online date8 Apr 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


This research was funded by The National Social Science Fund of China grant number 19CTY010.


  • the International Fitness Scale (IFIS)
  • reliability
  • children
  • adolsecents
  • Chinese


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