How Healthy Are La Mesa Students? State Releases Fitness Scores

The California Department of Education released its latest fitness test results for the 2011-2012 school year. Find out how La Mesa and Spring Valley students did.

The 2012 Physical Fitness Test was administered to approximately 1.3 million fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders in California with about 31 percent of students posting healthy scores in all six of the tested areas, it was announced recently.

“When we can call fewer than one out of three of our kids physically fit, we know we have a tremendous public health challenge on our hands,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said. “It affects more than their health—study after study has demonstrated the very clear link between physical fitness and academic achievement.

However, Torlakson said he was pleased to observe that students generally became more fit as they grew older, scoring better in Grades 7 and 9 than they did as fifth graders.

In La Mesa-Spring Valley public schools, 1,310 fifth-graders, and 698 seventh-graders were given the tests. The scores for the students can be viewed here. You can also search by specific schools for school-wide results.

In the Grossmont Union High School District, 4,271 ninth-graders were tested. Individual school results for Grossmont, Monte Vista and Mount Miguel can be viewed here.

The FITNESSGRAM test is designed to evaluate fitness performance has six individual tests including aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extension strength, upper body strength, and flexibility.

The California State Board of Education designated the FITNESSGRAM in 1996 as the required Physical Fitness Test that local educational agencies administer to students annually in grades five, seven, and nine. State law requires all public schools in California to report these results in their School Accountability Report Cards and provide students with their individual results.

To test Aerobic Capacity, students are measured on a one-mile run. Body Composition is quantified by skinfold measurements. Abdominal Strength and Endurance is measured by curl-ups, and Truck Extension Strength and Flexibility is measured by a trunk lift (in inches.) Upper Body Strength and Endurance is measured by 90 degree push-ups, a modified pull-up and flexed arm hang. Lastly, Flexibility of measured by a sit-and-reach and a shoulder stretch (Touching fingertips together behind the back on both the right and left sides.)

Torlakson’s Team California for Healthy Kids initiative engages celebrity athletes, community leaders, public health advocates, parents, teachers, and students to partner together to help students make healthy choices.

Below are the percentage of students recongnized in the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) for fifth graders.


% of Students in Healthy Fitness Zone

Aerobic Capacity

Body Composition 52.6
Abdominal Strength 74.4
Trunk Extension Strength 83.9
Upper Body Strength 70.5
Flexibility 60.8

Below are the percentage of students recongnized in the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) for seventh graders.


% of Students in Healthy Fitness Zone

Aerobic Capacity

Body Composition 53.2
Abdominal Strength 79.0
Trunk Extension Strength 93.6
Upper Body Strength 70.6
Flexibility 88.1

Below are the percentage of students recongnized in the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) for ninth graders.

% of Students in Healthy Fitness Zone Aerobic Capacity 67.0 Body Composition 56.3 Abdominal Strength 85.6 Trunk Extension Strength 96.1 Upper Body Strength 73.1 Flexibility


Deena While November 27, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Nice photo selections Patch.
Deena While November 27, 2012 at 04:06 PM
I forget, does that mean we are the same person, or different people????
Eric Yates November 27, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Trying to find stock photos with no copyright restrictions of obese kids is a lot harder than it looks ;)
Batman November 27, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Childhood obesity is out of control and spreading but pictures of it are scarce? And global warming is causing the earth to freeze over? And Barack Obama is going to lower taxes for the middle class? And the truth marches on.
Deena While November 27, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Why not focus on active kids? It brings the same message -- kids need to be active.


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