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Table 3
Mean and median values for selected fitness measures, by sex and age group, household population aged 20 to 69 years, Canada, 1981 and 2007-2009

Fitness measure, sex and survey year 20 to 39 years 40 to 59 years 60 to 69 years
Mean Median Mean Median Mean Median
Flexibility: sit-and-reach (cm)
Male
1981 30 30 25 25 22 23
2007-2009 25* 26* 26 26 18* 19
Female
1981 32 33 30 31 28 28
2007-2009 31* 31* 30 30 28 29
Muscular strength: grip strength (kg)
Male
1981 107 107 100 100 87 87
2007-2009 97* 98* 93* 93* 84 84
Female
1981 62 61 59 58 52 51
2007-2009 56* 56* 55* 55* 49 48
Body mass index (kg/m2)
Male
1981 24.4 24.0 26.1 25.8 26.6 26.3
2007-2009 26.5* 25.7* 28.3* 27.9* 28.5* 28.0*
Female
1981 22.5 21.8 25.0 24.3 25.8 25.4
2007-2009 25.9* 24.3* 27.0* 25.6* 28.7* 27.4*
Waist circumference (cm)
Male
1981 85 84 92 92 95 95
2007-2009 91* 89* 99* 98* 103* 102*
Female
1981 72 70 78 76 82 80
2007-2009 83* 79* 88* 86* 94* 93*
Sum of five skinfolds (mm)
Male
1981 51 48 56 56 56 55
2007-2009 61* 58* 67* 63* 62* 59
Female
1981 66 63 78 77 80 80
2007-2009 82* 77* 90* 89* 94* 92*
* significantly different from estimate for 1981 (p < 0.05)
† excludes respondents with BMI 30.0 kg/m2 or higher
Note: To make estimates more comparable, Canadian Health Measures Survey estimates for flexibility and muscular strength exclude respondents screened out of aerobic fitness test (see Methods).
Source: 1981 Canda Fitness Survey; 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey.