What Health-Related Needs are Associated with the BPFT?
As mentioned earlier, health-related physical fitness tests are developed in response to the health needs of the individual that are or may be affected by physical activity. The health-related needs or concerns that are associated with the BPFT are grouped within the three components of health-related fitness. The first component, aerobic functioning, permits a person to sustain large-muscle, dynamic, moderate-to high-intensity activity for prolonged periods of time. Acceptable levels of aerobic functioning are associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure, obesity, coronary heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer, the inability to sustain activity, and other health problems in adults. A second component of health-related physical fitness, body composition, refers to the degree of leanness or fatness of the body. Maintaining appropriate body composition is critical in preventing the onset of obesity which is associated with increased coronary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
The third component of health-related fitness combines three traditional components of physical fitness: muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility or range or motion. Appropriate levels of these attributes are necessary to maintain good posture, prevent lower back pain, live independently, and participate in leisure activity. For example, in regard to persons with disabilities, the ability to perform activities of daily living and live independently includes the ability to lift and transfer the body from a wheelchair, the ability to propel a wheelchair and overcome architectural barriers, and perform functional tasks requiring flexibility and range of motion. To a great extent, the health-related needs of persons with and without disabilities overlap. However, individuals with disabilities have, at times, unique health-related needs which need to be addressed.