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KANSAS STUDY LINKS FITNESS TO HIGHER MATH, READING SCORES

The Kansas Fitness Information Tracking study, which included 13,000 students from 152 schools, showed that those who met all five fitness standards had reading scores 73.5% above the proficiency mark and 70.3% higher for math. Students who met one or none of the fitness standards scored 41.8% above proficiency for reading and 50.4% above for math.

The five fitness standards tested are:

  1. Aerobic Capacity—which is tested with the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER). The PACER score is the total number of 20 meter laps completed by the student.
  2. Curl Up—this tests abdominal strength and endurance and is safer than a modified sit-up. The score is the  number of curl ups performed by the student (maximum=75).
  3. Trunk Lift—a test of trunk strength and flexibility. For this test, a student lifts their upper body off the floor using the back muscles and holds the position to allow for measurement. The score is the number of inches the upper body is lifted off the ground while the student is facedown (maximum=12 inches).
  4. 90 Degree Push-Up—tests upper body strength. The score is the number of 90 degree push-ups performed by the student.
  5. Back Saver Sit and Reach—a test of flexibility, particularly the hamstring muscles. While sitting, the student reaches out to the left and right side. The score is the number of inches the student can reach on either side of the test apparatus (maximum=12 inches).

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