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Physical fitness plays a critical role in the health of human being. In this regard, children should be orientated early in life to embrace physical activities so that when they grow up, exercise becomes a part of their life style. This will take a long way in improving their health and mental development. Towards this, Fitnessgram has come in handy to ensure that physical fitness is done according to scientific research standard. Furthermore, the data of each individual is stored well for the future use.
Fitnessgram Program Overview

Fitnessgram was formed in 1982 by the Cooper Institute to give physical education teachers so as to make it easy to report to parents the fitness levels of their children. Towards this, it is very easy to assess the student in the following: cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, muscular endurance, flexibility as well as body composition. Each student’s scores are evaluated against already stipulated objective criterion-based standards. This objective criterion-based standard is known as Healthy Fitness Zone standards. It shows the level of fitness required for a good health. Fitnessgram software is made in such a way that it produces the student and parent reports. These two reports are the communication channels between teachers and parents. The standards of fitness levels are set majorly for boys and girls of various ages with respect to available research findings.

The idea behind this software is the aspect of human kinetics. It gives an efficient way for schools and other organizations to carry out fitness and physical activity assessments on children and report the feedback to the children’s parents. In addition, the records are supposed to be stored safely for future reference.

The importance of Fitnessgram software is that it has got the ability to produce individual printed reports. In addition, it defines the recommended range of fitness for each test being assessed. In this situation, a child’s score is within the stipulated Healthy Fitness Zone, and then it shows that the child is within fitness healthy level. It is prudent regarding the fact that Fitnessgram does not need the participation of students, teachers, administrators, and technology staff.

Importance of fitness assessment

Fitnessgram follows the philosophy represented by the acronym HELP which simply means Health is a must to Everyone for a Lifetime and it is always Personal:

Good Health results from continuous physical activities and physical fitness
Physical activities and physical fitness is a must for everyone.
Physical activities and physical fitness are for our Lifetime
Physical activities programs should be customized to address Personal needs and aspiration
Health- vs. skill-related fitness

Health-related fitness is a combination of aerobic capacity, body composition, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. All these issues are related to both a child and an adult health. In addition, they influence the life of a child and adult directly.

Skill-related fitness is comprised of traits like agility, thinking speed, coordination of work, balance, power, and reaction period. These traits are very important in carrying out a given piece of work; however, they do not directly influence our health. Nevertheless, these physical activities are still inevitable.

Influences on physical fitness

Physical fitness is influenced by a number of things which include heredity, environment, age, and physical activity an individual is involved in. Besides all these factors, all children can improve their fitness levels through physical activities stipulated by this program. Success is for everyone who follows the process. The basic principle of Fitnessgram policy is that when one follows the process with physical activities involved, the end result is good health. Consequently, all students are encouragers to be a part of this noble course.

Fitnessgram is a modern physical education program which applies Healthy Fitness Zone standards. Healthy Fitness Zones are a criterion-referenced standard which has been generated through extensive scientific research. Criterion-referenced standards make physic fitness an individual affair with no comparison to the others.

Personalized physical activity plans

The Fitnessgram program generates individual reports that show results and area where a child needs to adjust and make progress in. The scores generated can serve as the basis for an individualized physical activities plan. This will give an opportunity to each individual student to work towards achieving a given result which will put him or her in good healthy situation.

Fitnessgram is a part of the bigger picture of health management. The essential goal of youth physical fitness awareness is to offer this kind of orientation early in life. This will make physical fitness a part of everyone’s priority hence improving health condition of the people.

The physical fitness assessment with the help of Fitnessgram will be performed to all children in grades 3-12 every school year. The program takes a critical assessesment of student’s health-related fitness, for instance, muscular strength, aerobic capacity, endurance, and endurance. Each child’s body composition will also be measured. Students with individual and special needs will be left out or the program will be customized to fit their individual needs.

Notification of Parents

Parents are notified about the date when the assessments are carried out. Normally, the students are assessed usually at the beginning and at the end of the year. Parents have the right to demand their child’s results of FITNESSGRAM from the Physical Educator.

The Clothes for Assessments

Students are required to put on a T-shirt, athletic shorts, socks and running shoes preparing for the assessments. Appropriate clothes will be helpful in not only allowing the students to move freely but also will enhance an accurate result.

Assessment descriptions and assessments:

Aerobic Capacity/PACER it is a shuttle run for 20 metres for each child to determine the volume of oxygen consumed per one minute of the work performed.
Push-ups are used to measure muscular strength of the upper body and endurance in a child
Curl-ups are used to measure endurance and abdominal strength of the muscles
Back Saver Sit and Reach is used to measure flexibility of a child.
Trunk Lift is used to measure flexibility ad trunk extensor strength in a child
Body Mass Index is the measuring body composition that helps in knowing the recommended weight.
Growth and Development

At the age of 7-12 years, children feel fairly independent as far as physical activities are the point of concern. At this time of growth, a child turns to be slimmer than he was in the early ages because of a change regarding the accumulation of his or her body fat. A lot of care needs to be taken at this stage. To ensure that the child’s physical growth is proper, a good and healthy diet is necessary. It is prudent for parents and teachers to work together and ensure that physical development of school-age children is taken seriously. Children who are given the opportunity to exercise are active and alert in their academic work. In this regard, it is the responsibility of both the parents and the teachers to encourage children to exercise.

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