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Just One in Three Students Deemed “Fit” in State Evaluation

Among other issues, physical education programs and recess have been cut back in recent years because of budget cuts, (Getty Images)

Among other issues, physical education programs and recess have been cut back in recent years because of budget cuts, (Getty Images)

By Jane Meredith Adams, EdSource

Only one in three California students earned a “fit” rating in the annual physical fitness test given to more than 1 million fifth, seventh and ninth grade students, according to 2012-13 test results released Wednesday.

About 26 percent of fifth graders, 32 percent of seventh graders, and 37 percent of ninth graders scored in the “Healthy Fitness Zone,” a measure defined by the creators of the California Physical Fitness Test, for all six areas: aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extensor strength, upper body strength, and flexibility.

In the test, a 10-year-old boy, for example, would be evaluated on his ability to perform a minimum of 12 curl-ups and seven push-ups within a specified time and to run a mile as fast as possible, or run back and forth in a 20-meter distance for as long as possible. Students 13 and older are given the option of walking a mile as fast as possible. Continue reading