About the project

FitBack is a European project whose full name is “the European Network for the Support of Development of Systems for Monitoring Physical Fitness of Children and Adolescents”.

Its mandate is to advocate for, and provide tools that will allow examination of population health trends, the effects of national fitness policies and interventions on child health at the local, regional, national and European level. FitBack will enable the prediction of future trends in population health by relating health risk to physical fitness status. The FitBack network has been developed in collaboration with 10 European partners who have been measuring physical fitness assessment in children and adolescents for a long time. This network is coordinated by the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Sport, Slovenia which has more than 30 years’ experience monitoring the physical fitness of all school children in the country every year.

The FitBack network welcomes new researchers and research groups from around the world. It can offer European expertise and support on all aspects of physical fitness monitoring of children and adolescents. For example, FitBack provides fitness monitoring tools for parents, teachers and children, organises regular meetings, workshops on current topics of interest, provides networking opportunities to interested stakeholders (like conferences), maintains links to European databases on physical fitness and other resources, educational materials, and provides best-practice descriptions on how to maximize one’s fitness. FitBack provides collaboration on fitness data analysis and counselling to new members on how to establish their own fitness monitoring system.

FitBack supports:

1. Children, adolescents, parents, teachers, physicians and coaches

With the FitBack tool that provides feedback on the selected Alpha fitness tests compared to European reference values, and related health risk.

2. Policy makers at the local, regional and national level

With essential information they can use for establishing their own physical fitness assessment protocols for testing and monitoring the health-risk of children and adolescents.

Overcoming difficulties in physical activity monitoring

By focusing on physical fitness, a metric that is more closely linked with health indicators than physical activity and measured more reliably, this project addresses the need identified by the European Commission to overcome difficulties in physical activity monitoring. In accordance with European HEPA policies’ recommendations, it also extends and deepens the cooperation at transnational EU level, shares information, and exchanges best-practices of physical fitness monitoring systems developed across Europe.

Establishing a single, multilingual online platform

The main purpose of this project is to support the establishment of physical fitness surveillance programs by a single, multilingual online platform, FitBack, which provides feedback on specific, individual physical fitness outcomes from the Alpha fit test battery. Fitback contains key information for others to establish their own national, regional or local system for monitoring physical fitness in children and adolescents. The Fitback platform was developed, tested and evaluated within 30-months' time by a project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Sport Collaborative Partnership scheme of the European Union (project reference: 613010-EPP-1-2019-1-SI-SPO-SCP).

By creating such a platform, we aim to bridge gaps between European political recommendations and the current state of affairs locally, as well as strengthen cooperation between sectors (education, health, sport) to provide data-driven policy decisions on physical education and related physical fitness priorities.

Resources

Please see below for some useful tools and additional information available. Our partners understand that any documents which appear here are shared with the intention that they will be used within the public domain.

  1. Overview of physical fitness data pooling for FitBack database
  2. European national representative databases of sex- and age-specific centile values for Alpha fit physical fitness test battery
  3. An overview of measurement characteristics for specific physical fitness tests
  4. The key guidelines for designing a monitoring system for the physical fitness of children and adolescents
  5. Summary of SWOT analysis of the best practices of fitness monitoring in Europe
  6. Comparison of best practices in monitoring of children and adolescents’ fitness
  7. The criteria for health risk assessment in children and adolescents for each physical fitness component
  8. FitBack web platform English texts

Members of the Fitback network

Country Name
Slovenia University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Sport (leader)
Croatia University of Zagreb, Faculty of Kinesiology
Estonia University of Tartu, Faculty of Medicine
Finland LIKES Research Center for Physical Activity and Health
Hungary Hungarian School Sport Federation
Italy The Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Faculty of Education
Luxemburg European Physical Education Association
Portugal University of Lisbon, Faculty of Human Kinetics
Serbia University of Belgrade, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education
Spain University of Granada, Faculty of Sport Sciences

 

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