Why kids take physical fitness tests at school

Nov 28, 2015 by

Remember that test you had to take in fifth grade, when you stretched your legs under a table and your arms over it, reaching as far as possible?

Yeah, kids are still doing a version of that.

It’s called the “back-saver sit and reach,” and it’s part of the annual physical fitness test the state administers to students to test whether children are healthy enough or need improvement in the areas of aerobic capacity, muscle and skeletal function and body composition.

The back-saver sit and reach is an optional item in the six-part test, meant to measure flexibility—students stretch out one leg as far as they can and reach out, to measure hamstring flexibility on either side. One of the most common complaints adults have is lower back pain, and the sit-and-reach measures hamstring flexibility, said James Morrow, a professor of kinesiology, health promotion and recreation at the University of North Texas.

Other tests can include a run, a body mass index measurement, push-ups and trunk lifts.

Source: Why kids take physical fitness tests at school – LA Times

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