This study provides descriptive data on demographic categories of health-related fitness from a large sample of Texas schools, which beginning in 2008 were mandated to conduct fitness testing in physical education. In the first year, data was obtained from nearly 6,000 schools representing more than 80 percent of districts and 250 of the state’s 254 counties.
Teachers were trained to use software and testing kits and submitted results to the Texas Education Association through a web-based data aggregation utility. The students were rated as to whether or not they achieved the health-related FITNESSGRAM® Healthy Fitness Zone™ (HFZ) on a number of assessments to measure cardiovascular fitness, body mass index, musculoskeletal fitness and flexibility.
Among the analysis:
- The percentage of youth who achieved HFZ for cardiovascular fitness varied by age (70% for elementary school children, 46% middle school and 34% high school).
- The percentage of youth achieving HFZ ideals for BMI ranged between 60 percent and 70 percent for boys and between 70 percent and 80 percent for girls.
- The percentage of youth achieving health-related standards was lower for schools with high diversity and lower socioeconomic status.
The researchers also linked the data using GIS mapping technology to show regional variations in fitness among Texas school children.
- 1. Overview of the Texas Youth Fitness Study
- 2. Distribution of Health-Related Physical Fitness in Texas Youth
- 3. The Association of Health-Related Fitness with Indicators of Academic Performance in Texas Schools
- 4. Statewide Physical Fitness Testing
- 5. A Survey of Physical Education Programs and Policies in Texas Schools
- 6. Physical Education and School Contextual Factors Relating to Students' Achievement and Cross-Grade Differences in Aerobic Fitness and Obesity
- 7. Psychosocial Variables Associated with Body Composition and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Middle School Students
- 8. Reflections on the Texas Youth Evaluation Project and Implications for the Future