Report Shows California School Children are Falling Short in Fitness

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

At a Sacramento middle school, students showed off their “aerobic capacity” and “abdominal strength” with some lively jumping jacks and crunches…  For 13-year-old Lisa Dunlap, school P-E classes are part of an overall fitness program, implemented by her parents.

 “You know they don’t really like me sitting on the couch a long time or watching t-v, so they tell me to go to the park with them or something…” 

But a statewide physical fitness test, known as the “fitness-gram” that’s given annually to fifth, seventh and ninth graders doesn’t demonstrate similar commitments among students statewide.

 “The bottom line is that only one out of four students in our public school system is considered physically fit, that’s unacceptable.” 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell says only 56-percent of students measured were able to meet the performance standard for aerobic capacity.  In all six fitness areas are examined.