More students in the Murrieta Valley Unified School District are physically fit when compared to state and county peer averages, according to state fitness test results released Wednesday.
The FITNESSGRAM® is administered annually statewide to students in grades fifth, seventh and ninth. Students are tested in six areas: aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extensor strength, upper body strength and flexibility, according to the California Department of Education.
Of 5,306 Murrieta fifth-, seventh-, and ninth-graders who took the 2012-2013 FITNESSGRAM®, 36.6 percent of Murrieta fifth-graders, 44 percent of seventh-graders and 41.1 percent of ninth-graders scored in the "Healthy Fitness Zone" among all six areas of the test.
That is compared to 2011-2012 MVUSD results when 39.6 percent of fifth-graders, 41.4 percent of seventh-graders and 41.2 percent of ninth-graders scored in the Healthy Fitness Zone.
Combined state results show that 26 percent of fifth-graders, 32 percent of seventh-graders and 37 percent of ninth-grades passed all six categories to score in the Healthy Fitness Zone. That reflects slight gains for grades five and seven since last year and no change for grade nine.
When combining 2012-2013 FITNESSGRAM® results for all public school districts across Riverside County, 26.4 percent of fifth-graders, 33.5 percent of seventh-graders and 35.9 percent of ninth-graders met six of six criteria. The recently revealed results show slight decreases from 2011-2012 percentages for Riverside County students in those three grades.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a released statement today that healthy kids learn better, and the push to improve physical fitness among schoolchildren is “nowhere near the end.”
“To help them succeed in school and in life, California’s young people need more access to physical activity, fresh, healthy food, and clean water,” he said.
Torlakson, a longtime teacher and cross-country coach, launched his Team California for Healthy Kids initiative shortly after taking office to further these goals. The initiative brings together educators, community leaders, athletes, and other celebrities to help schools offer healthy choices to students.
The primary goal of FITNESSGRAM® is to assist students in establishing lifetime habits of regular physical activity.
The 2012–2013 physical fitness results for schools, school districts, counties and the state are available on the California Department of Education’s Physical Fitness Test Results Web page. For additional information about the Physical Fitness Test, go to CDE’s Physical Fitness Test Web page.