Despite growing alarm about childhood obesity and stepped-up efforts to get California’s 6.3 million public school children exercising and eating well, only one in four could stretch, lift, curl and run enough to pass the state’s annual physical fitness test.
Every spring, fifth-, seventh-, and ninth-graders take the test, which includes a mile-long run and push-ups. Results from the spring 2006 tests, made public Friday, highlight a troubling trend. Today’s children are much like the nation’s adults: increasingly inactive and sedentary.
“Three out of four students are not in good physical shape,” state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said in announcing the results. “Students need to turn off the video games, turn off the television and the computer and get out and walk and play games.”
The 2006 test scores show a slight gain — 1 percent — in overall performance compared to last year’s results.