About 47 percent of Grossmont Unified High School District students and about 30 percent of Lemon Grove School District students received healthy scores across the board in a state fitness test, compared to one in three California students, officials announced Thursday.
"Nothing is more important than the health of our children, and today's results show that many of them need a helping hand to get fit and stay in shape," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement.
The annual FITNESSGRAM tests gauge fifth-, seventh- and ninth-grade students' fitness in six areas: aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extensor strength, upper body strength and flexibility.
In the tests, students perform exercises such as a one-mile run, curl-ups, push-ups, shoulder stretches and modified pull-ups. Students' body mass index (BMI) also is measured.
Officials say the aerobic capacity tests are the best indicator of a student's fitness. In the LGSD, seven out of 10 fifth-graders and six out of 10 seventh-graders scored in the "Healthy Fitness Zone" (HFZ) in that area. For example, a 12-year-old girl would need to run one mile in less than 12 minutes to be in the HFZ for that aerobic test. A 12-year-old boy, on the other hand, would need to run it in less than 10 1/2 minutes.
Torlakson on Thursday also announced a statewide campaign—Team California for Healthy Kids—to improve fitness, co-chaired by a UCLA health professor Dr. Toni Yancy, former UCLA and NBA star Bill Walton, Super Bowl champion William "Bubba" Paris and "Ultramarathon Man" Dean Karnazes.
Check your own student's school here.
GUHSD:Students in Healthy Fitness Zone* Grade 9 Percentage in Healthy Fitness Zone 47%
LGSD:Students in Healthy Fitness Zone* 2009-2010 2009-2010 (state) Grade 5 27.4 28.7 Grade 7 33.5 34.6
*Source: California Department of Education, 2009-10 California Physical Fitness Report for the Grossmont Union High School District and Lemon Grove School District.