Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

A Profile of High School Student Fitness Levels Based on Program Assessment Data

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

A Profile of High School Student Fitness Levels Based on Program Assessment Data

Article excerpt

Rhetoric lamenting the dangerously low fitness levels of children in this country is daunting. Indeed, the increasing incidence of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other maladies in younger populations is cause for concern. Mitchell, Castelli, and Strainer (2003) reported very low student fitness scores by school in South Carolina, (mean of 28% passing scores). They suggested scores may have been affected by teacher data collection errors. The purpose of this study was to examine high school fitness levels by student rather than by school, limiting data collection errors. Data were collected by physical education teachers on 3,042 students (1,521 boys and 1,521 girls) on FITNESSGRAM. Data were submitted as part of a larger program assessment requirement (cf. Rink & Williams, 2003). Student performance of the curl-up was videotaped by teachers, and a trained group of experts used these videotaped performances to determine whether or not to accept the rest of the data set (if experts reached 80% agreement on a 20% random sample of teacher scores on their student performance of the curl up test, the whole fitness data set were accepted--data not achieving this level of agreement were not included in this analysis). Students were tested on five areas: cardiovascular fitness (mile or PACER), body composition (body mass index, electrical impedance, or skin fold), upper body strength (push ups), abdominal strength (curl-ups), and flexibility (back saver sit and reach). …

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