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Students Fail In Fitness Test In California

In California tests are conducted periodically to check fitness in students. Jack O'Connell , the Superintendent of Public Instruction released //this year's results of the annual assessment of fifth, seventh and ninth-graders.

The test is administered to the fifth, seventh and ninth graders and studies student fitness in six areas. Nearly 1.4 million students took the test this year. Only one-third could meet the required standards set for areas like body fat, abdominal strength and flexibility.

In the lower grades such as fifth and seventh grades, around six in ten finished the one-mile run test in the allotted time, whereas among the ninth-graders, nearly half found it difficult to run one mile briskly.

'These numbers tell us that too many of our students are leading sedentary lives exacerbated by poor eating habits,' state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell said. 'This is a destructive trend that has resulted in an epidemic of childhood obesity and must be reversed.'

O'Connell said too many students lead sedentary lives and it was the duty of the physical education instructors to see to it that the children have enough exercise , run and drill to keep fit.

This year's scores are slightly better than last year and shows a 1 percent increase across the three grades. 'The overall results show we have a lot of work to do,' said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who once headed the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (from 1990 to 1992), also joins in the view that Californian schools should incorporate more physical activity.

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