A recent article by the Mercury News states that only one in three students passed the California fitness test in 2015. Even though California students fitness score have improved throughout the past five years, 2015 scores are lower than 2014.
“I think that the decline in fitness rates can be linked to the varying accessibility of healthy foods and fitness centers between communities of variable of incomes,” said Abbey Cliffe, a Sacramento resident when asked why she thought the scores were decreasing. “Also, a society that is becoming increasingly dependent on and concerned with technology could also undermine physical fitness as a priority.”
In this past year, the percentage of students who met all six of the fitness goals declined around half a percentage point. Districts all around the state varied in results and possible explanations of the decline. The Mercury News listed socioeconomic status as a possibility displaying the scores of Los Gatos which had a more than 61% of students testing fit versus Oakland which only had 21%. Some districts show that the scores get better as the students get older. Pleasanton Unified’s 5th graders met the 36.3% of all targets while 49.6% of the 7th graders and 62.1 % of the 9th graders hit all of the targets.
“I believe I didn’t get the Presidential Fitness Award until 7th and 8th grade solely based off my mile time which was within 30 seconds of the time needed,” Katie Chappelle, a Sacramento resident replied when asked about her experience with these tests in high school. “It wasn’t terribly difficult, it took me a few years to achieve. I played volleyball, basketball, ran track and field and did dance year round. It’s not like I wasn’t active, I just didn’t excel in different parts of the test.”
This test, which has been given for the past 16 years, measures aerobic capacity, abdominal strength, upper body strength, trunk strength, and flexibility. Mastery of these tasks is a way to show how well students are fit enough to fight everyday diseases.