Part of the Bay Area News Group

Are you fitter than a 5th grader?

By Katy Murphy
Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 at 4:57 pm in health, high schools, middle schools, students, teens.

Tribune file photo by Laura A. Oda of P.E. at Cleveland Elementary School, 2007

Each spring, kids in the fifth, seventh and ninth grades have their weight, flexibility, speed, aerobic capacity and strength measured for the state’s physical fitness test. (Does anyone know if they still do the flexed-arm hang? That was always a personal favorite.)

Today, we see how they did. In the chart below, you’ll find two columns of figures: the first shows the percentage of kids in each grade deemed aerobically fit (by local school district), and the second is the percentage who have a healthy body composition, according to state standards.


Alameda students
5th grade: 76%     79%
7th grade: 81%     83%
9th grade: 68%     79%
Berkeley students
5th grade: 62%     69%
7th grade: 57%     74%
9th grade: 42%     62%
Oakland students
5th grade: 63%     64%
7th grade: 49%     61%
9th grade: 38%     61%
State average
5th grade: 64%     68%
7th grade: 64%     68%
9th grade: 61%     70%

I wonder if Oakland’s and Berkeley’s ninth-graders are really that out of shape, or whether they just stopped caring about their governor’s fitness challenge.

In any case, if you want to see how the kids at your school measured up, or whether that stellar P.E. teacher whipped them into shape last year, you can find it all here.

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  • Lisa

    I think there is a great story in looking at high school P.E. In fact, one of my students did a pretty good story for the magazine that I would share with you if I had it handy.

    Not to mention that when you can take P.E. through “Cyber High” and you’re already obese or overweight, there is something wrong!

    Lisa Shafer