Examining the Impact of Urban and Rural Environments on the Connection Between Cardiovascular Endurance and Body Mass Index in Female University Athletes
Objective: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the impact of urban and rural localities on the cardiovascular endurance of female university athletes in relation to Body Mass Index (BMI). Methods: A diverse sample of 136 players from various sports, with a mean age of 20.37±2.10 years, was included to represent different body types and communities. The participants' cardiovascular endurance was assessed using the Harvard Step Test, while BMI was determined by measuring their height and weight. Descriptive statistics, including the Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Shapiro-Wilk tests, as well as Spearman's correlation, a trend line, and an independent samples t-test, were conducted for data analysis, with a significance level set at 5%. Results: The findings revealed that the average BMI for the entire sample was 19.93±3.31 kg/m², and the average fitness index was 66.45±8.73, indicating an average level of fitness. Additionally, it was concluded that only a small proportion (3.7%) of female university players achieved a good level of fitness. The correlation coefficients indicated a weak and insignificant negative correlation (r = -0.061, p>0.05) between cardiovascular endurance and BMI. The results also demonstrated that the locality had a significant effect on both BMI (t = 2.164, p < 0.05) and cardiovascular endurance (t = -2.397, p < 0.05) among female university players. Moreover, it was observed that university athletes from rural areas exhibited higher fitness levels and lower BMI compared to players from urban areas. Conclusion: The study found that BMI had no significant association with cardiovascular endurance, but it was observed that locality had a significant impact on both BMI and cardiovascular endurance.
Key Words: Cardiovascular, Endurance, Fitness Index, BMI, University Athletes