FITNESSGRAM® Friday: A Middle School Physical Activity and Fitness Intervention
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Texas Senate Bill 530 (2007) mandated fitness assessment as part of the annual K-8 Physical Education (PE) curricula, yet no studies have reported interventions designed to improve and quantify individual student passing rates or individual school performance. Students (Total 2008-2010 N=1484; 729 females, 755 males; mean age = 11.85 y; mean BMI = 22.69 or > 90%-tile, overweight) were evaluated on individual FITNESSGRAM® performances in a cross-sectional analysis of 6th graders comparing baseline scores (year 1) with outcomes of a physical activity intervention in years 2 and 3. Students participated in regular PE classes (including campus wellness center activities) with a once a week focus (FITNESSGRAM® Friday) on improving mile run scores and other assessment scores. Students significantly improved FITNESSGRAM® scores following the PE intervention to levels similar to state reported averages. On average, boys improved their pushups by 32.7%, trunk lift by 17.4% and mile run times by 29.5%. Averages for girls improved by 15.4% for pushups, 6.7% for truck lift, and by 38.6% for the mile run. The percentage of boys in our study achieving all six FITNESSGRAM® tests in the HFZ was 3% at baseline and 22% following intervention. The percentage of girls meeting the criteria for the HFZ on all six FITNESSGRAM® tests was 4.5% at baseline and 20% following intervention. This study provides a potential model for fitness success in other middle school PE interventions, in Texas and the nation.