Piedmont Kids Score Well in Physical Fitness

Results of California's Physical Fitness Test show Piedmont students outperforming statewide averages by a wide margin. See the chart below for each school's results.

Piedmont school kids are very physically fit, both on test standards and in comparison with statewide averages, according to results of the state's 2012 Physical Fitness Test released last week.

More than 54 percent of Piedmont students were judged in the "healthy fitness zone" on all six measures of physical fitness. At one school, Havens Elementary, more than 78 percent of the students tested met that standard. (See the chart below for results from each local school.)

Statewide, physical fitness scores for California’s school kids are holding steady, with about 31 percent of students posting healthy scores in all six of the tested areas for the second year in a row, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced.

The 2012 Physical Fitness Test was administered to approximately 1.3 million fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders, representing more than 93 percent of the total number of students enrolled in those grades in California public schools (Table 1). The state tracked the same groups of students—or “cohorts”—through the physical fitness tests in grades five, seven, and nine, which showed marked improvements in physical fitness over the years (Tables 6 and 7).

The California State Board of Education designated the FITNESSGRAM® in 1996 as the required Physical Fitness Test that local educational agencies administer to students annually in grades five, seven, and nine. State law requires all public schools in California to report these results in their School Accountability Report Cards and provide students with their individual results.

The FITNESSGRAM® was designed by The Cooper Institute to evaluate fitness performance and increase the likelihood students will adopt lifetime patterns of physical activity. TheFITNESSGRAM® assesses six fitness areas: (1) aerobic capacity, (2) body composition, (3) abdominal strength, (4) trunk extensor strength, (5) upper body strength, and (6) flexibility.

For aerobic capacity and body composition, students may be classified in the “Healthy Fitness Zone® (HFZ),” “Needs Improvement,” or “Needs Improvement—High Risk.” In the other four areas, students are classified more generally as either being in the HFZ or needing improvement.

The 2012 Physical Fitness Test results show that 25 percent of the students in grade five, 32 percent in grade seven, and 37 percent in grade nine scored within the HFZ for all six areas of the test.

While aerobic capacity is an indicator of physical fitness, body composition is perhaps the most important indicator of who will develop future health problems. This year’s results show that almost a third, or 30 percent, of all students from grades five, seven, and nine are in the high-risk category for body composition.

The 2012 Physical Fitness Test results for schools, school districts, counties, and the state are available on the California Department of Education Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/pf/pftresults.asp.

The chart below shows the percentage of students in each group who tested in the "healthy fitness zone."

Tested  Aerobic
Capacity  Body
Strength  Trunk
Strength  Upper
Strength  Flexi-
Beach-5 90.4% 73.1% 92.3% 86.5% 98.1% 88.5% Havens-5 90.0% 78.9% 93.3% 96.7% 87.8% 95.6% Wildwood-5 86.8% 63.2% 54.4% 57.4% 72.1% 76.5% Piedmont
Middle-7  91.2% 65.5% 95.9% 96.4% 93.3% 71.6% Piedmont
High-9  73.1% 72.1% 94.7% 91.3% 86.5% 62%

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