Saudi Arabia’s First Female Physical Education Teachers: A Study of Health-Related Physical Fitness

Document Type : Original Article


Department Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia


Background: Girls in Saudi Arabian public schools have only recently (since September 2017) begun to receive physical education (PE) lessons. The aim of this study was to assess the health-related physical fitness components among the first cohort of Saudi female PE teachers.
Design and methods: Thirty-nine female PE teachers (mean ± SD, age, 22.9 ± 0.83 years; body mass, 58.4 ± 10.6 kg; height, 159.2 ± 5.4 cm) took part in this study. Cardiopulmonary fitness was determined using the Queen’s College Step Test to estimate maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max). Using a bioelectrical impedance analyzer, body fat percentage (%) was determined, and a hand grip dynamometer was used to test hand grip strength. Finally, the sit and reach test was used to determine flexibility.
Results: The mean (± SD) of VO2max was 42.5 ± 5.7 ( The mean (± SD) body fat percentage, hand grip strength, and flexibility were 32.9 ± 8.9 (%), 21.0 ± 4.3 (kg), and 14.5 ± 4.3 (cm), respectively.
Conclusions: The study concluded that hand grip strength was lower while body fat percentage was higher among Saudi female PE teachers than their international counterparts, as reported in the literature. Weight loss intervention comprising physical activity (PA) and dietary modification is recommended for Saudi female PE teachers, and resistance training aimed at enhancing muscular strength should be the main component of fitness programs.


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