Student Well-Being

“Fitness and Fatness”

By Kevin Bushweller — September 28, 2007 1 min read

The majority of what we write about in this blog centers on academic motivation. But motivation matters in the physical education world too.

That’s why it’s worth noting that Texas recently introduced a statewide physical fitness test, to address what one health expert calls the “fitness and fatness of our youth in Texas,” according to an Associated Press story on edweek.org. (FYI: We now have an AP education news feed on edweek.org that rolls new stories online 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. There’s a lot of good content in the feed that you would probably find useful and interesting.)

Anyway, back to fitness and fatness.

According to the AP story, the test — which measures aerobic capacity, body composition, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility — will be used in every gym class in the state in grades three and up.

The emphasis on fitness is needed in Texas, state officials contend. Forty-two percent of the state’s fourth graders, 39 percent of eighth-graders and 36 percent of 11th-graders are overweight or at risk of being overweight, according to a 2007 report from the Texas comptroller, according to the AP article. The same study concluded that the more education people get, the less likely they are to be overweight or obese.

Now, the real challenge begins: Motivating thousands of lazy, poor eaters to get outside and exercise and learn to eat less junk food. Easier said than done, right?

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.