Thursday, September 15, 2011

Presidential Physical Fitness Test

During the month of September all students 1st through 4th grade have been taking the Presidential Physical Fitness Test.  We also take this battery of tests in the spring. Here is a little bit about each test.

Sit-ups: This event measures abdominal strength and endurance.  Students lie on a cushioned, clean surface with knees flexed and feet about 12 inches from buttocks. Partner holds feet. Arms are crossed or behind their head. Keeping this position, students raise the trunk curling up to touch elbows to knees and then lowers the back to the floor, for one sit-up. The students have one minute to do as many sit-sups as possible.

Shuttle Run: This event measures speed, quickness and agility.  There are two parallel lines 30 feet apart and two chalkboard erasers, or other similar object, behind each line. Students start behind the opposite line.  On the signal “Ready? Go!” the student runs to the blocks, picks one up, runs back to the starting line, places the block behind the line, runs back and picks up the second block, and runs back across starting line. Students are timed start to finish.

Endurance Run: This event measures heart and lung endurance.  Depending on their age some kids run a quarter mile and some kids run a half mile.  On a safe measured out field, usually 220 yards, kids will run laps according to age.  On the count "Ready, Go!" students begin running.  Walking may be interspersed with running.  However, students are encouraged to cover the distance in as short as time as possible.

Push ups: This event measures upper body strength and endurance.  The student starts in push-up position with hands under shoulders, arms straight, fingers pointed forward, and legs straight, parallel, and slightly apart (approximately 2-4 inches) with the toes supporting the feet. Keeping the back and knees straight, the student then lowers the body until there is a 90-degree angle formed at the elbows with upper arms parallel to the floor. The push-ups are done to a metronome (or audio tape, clapping, drums) with one complete push-up every three seconds, and are continued until the student can do no more at the required pace. The student should remain in motion during the entire three second interval.

Sit and Reach: This event measures flexibility of the lower back and hamstrings.  A specially constructed box with a measuring scale marked in centimeters, with 23 centimeters at the level of the feet. Student removes shoes and sits on the floor with knees fully extended, feet shoulder-width apart and soles of the feet flat against the end of the box.  With hands on top of each other, palms down, and legs held flat, student reaches along the measuring line as far as possible.

Students who reach the qualifying standard in all five events will receive the Presidential Physical Fitness Award.  These levels represent the 85th percentile based on the 1985 School Population Fitness Survey.  This standards are on the chart above.  If they meet the standard in all five tests they will receive a patch and a certificate for their accomplishment.

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