The SC FitnessGram project is a statewide effort to evaluate and ultimately improve health-related fitness among public school students in South Carolina. It is supported by the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, and the South Carolina Department of Education. The University of South Carolina serves as the data analysis center for the project. The findings from this project support planning and implementation of evidence-based programs and policies, across multiple sectors, to improve health-related fitness among school age youth
For more information about the SC FitnessGram project, contact Breonna Mealing, firstname.lastname@example.org, 803-898-1620.
The SC FitnessGram project involves the aggregation of health-related fitness data from public schools using a statewide FitnessGram software system. Physical education teachers administer six FitnessGram test items to students enrolled in physical education (PE) classes in grades 5, 8, and in the high school PE course required for graduation. Height and weight only is measured in grade 2. FitnessGram, the official test of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP), is the most widely used fitness test protocol in U.S. schools with over 10 million children completing the test annually. This statewide system also provides a way to manage and report data at the local school level to assist parents, teachers, schools, and districts in providing fitness information that can strengthen fitness education, testing, and improve student health and academic achievement.
Call to Action
The SC FitnessGram data shows that more than one-third of school age youth are either overweight or obese and half did not meet the Healthy Fitness Zone standard for cardiorespiratory fitness. School age youth need 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day! Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week. As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week. Incorporate stretching exercises into the daily routine before, during, and after physical activity to keep joints and muscles flexible to help avoid injuries. It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.
Below are links to suggested actions for various sectors to support student health-related fitness.
- Community Environments
- Community Organizations
- Early Care and Education
- Health Care
- K-12 Classroom Teachers
- K-12 Principals
- K-12 School Districts
- Physical Education (PE) Teachers
- State and Local Leaders