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Title: Nutritional Status and Physical Fitness of Pygmy Hunter-Gatherers living in the African Rainforests
Authors: YAMAUCHI, Taro
SATO, Hiroaki
Keywords: Pygmy hunter-gatherers
African rainforests
Physical fitness
Nutritional status
Heart rate
Issue Date: Mar-2014
Publisher: The Research Committee for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 47
Start page: 25
End page: 34
Abstract: Pygmy hunter-gatherers living in the tropical rainforests of central Africa have attracted the attention of anthropologists for many decades because they are extremely short in stature. The investigation of their nutritional status and physical fitness can offer important information for the interpreting corresponding data from all human populations; however, quantitative nutritional and physical fitness surveys of Pygmy hunter-gatherers have been limited. The nutritional status of 23 male and 24 female Pygmy hunter-gatherers (Baka) was surveyed, and their physical fitness was examined by performing heart rate measurements at 2 resting positions (sitting and standing) and 2 exercise levels (step-test, 15 and 30 steps/min). The average stature was intermediate relative to other Pygmy hunter-gatherers, and the participants were generally well nourished. In more than 85% of the participants, the body mass index (BMI; kg/m2) was within the normal range (18.5 ≤ BMI < 25.0). The results of correlation analyses between anthropometrical indices and physical fitness indicators show that taller and heavier (especially in fat-free mass) subjects were significantly fitter than shorter and lighter subjects. In addition, skinfold thickness and body fat were negatively associated with physical fitness.
DOI: 10.14989/185104
Appears in Collections:47(Bio-social Adaptations of the Baka Hunter-gatherers in African Rainforest)

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