A majority of California students are unfit, according to results released today from the 2010 School Physical Fitness Test.
Given to students in fifth, seventh and ninth grades, the test showed particularly low fitness levels among the youngest students, with 71 percent of the state's fifth graders unable to perform at a level designated as the Healthy Fitness Zone.
The test assesses six fitness areas: aerobic capacity (running, walking), body composition (percentage fat), abdominal strength (curl ups), trunk extensor strength (trunk lifts), upper body strength (push-up, pull-up), and flexibility (shoulder stretch).
In Sacramento County, 70 percent of fifth grade students were not able to meet criteria in all six fitness areas. Sixty-five percent of seventh graders and 60 percent of ninth graders also did not meet all six fitness area criteria.
The California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance released a statement from its president Daniel Latham attributing the poor fitness levels to schools cutting physical education programs in the last five years.
You read that right, it's the schools' fault. Couldn't possibly have anything to do with anything outside of school, could it? Couldn't possibly have anything to do with parents, could it? Nope, it's all the fault of the schools. It should be intuitively obvious to the casual observer that a few years ago, kids were fine, but maybe some schools cut an hour of PE a week, and bam! Kids get fat and out of shape.
Clearly, those kids were on the borderline before, if that hour of dodgeball or whatever is the difference between being Olympic triathletes and Jabba the Hut.
Gawd, what a stupid article.