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Sharon A. Plowman, Charles L. Sterling, Charles B. Corbin, Marilu D. Meredith, Gregory J. Welk and James R. Morrow Jr.

Initially designed by Charles L. Sterling as a physical fitness “report card” FITNESSGRAM ® / ACTIVITYGRAM ® is now an educational assessment and reporting software program. Based on physiological/epidemiological, behavioral, and pedagogical research, FITNESSGRAM is committed to health-related physical fitness, criterion-referenced standards, an emphasis on physical activity including behavioral based recognitions, and the latest in technology. The evolution of these major concepts is described in this history of FITNESSGRAM.

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Michael P. Ernst, Charles B. Corbin, Aaron Beighle and Robert P. Pangrazi

While the FITNESSGRAM ® test battery is widely used in schools, not all users are aware of the FITNESSGRAM position paper as outlined in the Reference Manual, and for this reason may fail to use FITNESSGRAM materials as intended. The purpose of this paper is to outline the many appropriate uses, and some inappropriate uses, of FITNESSGRAM. Because California is a state that employs the FITNESSGRAM as its state fitness test, examples from California are used. Suggestions for future uses of fitness testing are included.

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Michelle Ihmels, Gregory J. Welk, James J. McClain and Jodee Schaben

Background:

Advances in BIA offer practical alternative approaches to assessing body composition in young adolescents and have not been studied for comparability.

Methods:

This study compared reliability and convergent validity of three field tests (2-site skinfold, Omron and Tanita BIA devices) on young adolescents. Reliability was determined using intraclass correlation coefficients, convergent validity was examined by computing correlations among the three estimates, differences in estimated body fat values were evaluated using repeated-measures ANOVA, and classification agreement was computed for achieving FITNESSGRAM ® Healthy Fitness Zone.

Results:

ICC values of all three measures exceeded .97. Correlations ranged from .74 to .81 for males and .79 to .91 for females. Classification agreement values ranged from 82.8% to 92.6%.

Conclusions:

Results suggest general agreement among the selected methods of body composition assessments in both boys and girls with the exception that percent body fat in boys by Tanita BIA is significantly lower than skinfold estimation.

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David A. Rowe and Matthew T. Mahar

Background:

The purpose of the study was to evaluate race-specific FITNESSGRAM® body mass index (BMI) standards in comparison to the recommended standards, i.e., percent fat (%BF) ≥25 in boys and %BF ≥32 in girls.

Methods:

BMI and %BF were estimated in 1,968 Black and White children ages 6-14 years, using methods similar to those used to develop the current FITNESSGRAM standards. Multiple regression was employed to develop age-, sex-, and race-specific BMI standards. Percent agreement and modified kappa (κq) were used to evaluate agreement with the %BF standards, and sensitivity and specificity were used to evaluate classification accuracy.

Results:

Race significantly (p < .05) and meaningfully (β = 2.3% fat) added to the relationship between BMI and %BF. Agreement of the race-specific BMI standards with %BF standards was moderate to high (κq = .73–.88), and classification accuracy improved on the current FITNESSGRAM BMI standards.

Conclusions:

Race-specific BMI standards appear to be a more accurate representation of unhealthy %BF levels than the current FITNESSGRAM BMI standards.

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Norman S. Hannibal III, Sharon Ann Plowman, Marilyn A. Looney and Jason Brandenburg

Background:

Strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility are important components of healthy back function. This study determined the reliability and evaluated the validity of selected low back field tests (FITNESSGRAM ® Trunk Extension [FG-TE] and Box 90° Dynamic Trunk Extension [B-90° DTE]) when compared to laboratory tests (Parallel Roman Chair Dynamic Trunk Extension [PRC-DTE], Parallel Roman Chair Static Trunk Extension [PRC-STE], and Dynamometer Static Back Lift [DSBL]).

Methods:

Forty males age 15.1 ± 1.2 yr and 32 females age 15.5 ± 1.2 yr participated.

Results:

Intraclass test-retest reliability coefficients (one-way ANOVA model for a single measure) ranged from .940 to .996. Validity coefficients determined by Pearson product moment correlation coefficients for males and females, respectively, were as follows: B-90° DTE vs. PRC-DTE = .82, .62 (p < .05); B-90° DTE vs. PRC-STE = .55, .38 (p < .05); B-90° DTE vs. DSBL = −.29, −.23; FG-TE vs. PRC-DTE = .23, −.11; FG-TE vs. PRC-STE = −.15, .33; and FG-TE vs. DSBL = −.04, −.36.

Conclusions:

B-90° DTE was shown to be a valid field test when compared to PRC-DTE, but only for the males. Further research on the PRC-DTE and PRC-STE items for adolescents is recommended.

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Jacob S. Tucker, Scott Martin, Allen W. Jackson, James R. Morrow Jr., Christy A. Greenleaf and Trent A. Petrie

Purpose:

To investigate the relations between sedentary behaviors and health-related physical fitness and physical activity in middle school boys and girls.

Methods:

Students (n = 1515) in grades 6–8 completed the Youth Risk Behavior Survey sedentary behavior questions, the FITNESSGRAM physical fitness items, and FITNESSGRAM physical activity self-report questions.

Results:

When students reported ≤ 2 hours per day of sedentary behaviors, their odds of achieving the FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zone for aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition increased. Similarly, the odds of achieving physical activity guidelines for children increased when students reported ≤ 2 hours per day of sedentary behaviors.

Conclusions:

Results illustrate the importance of keeping sedentary behaviors to ≤ 2 hours per day in middle school children, thus increasing the odds that the student will achieve sufficient health-related fitness benefits and be more likely to achieve the national physical activity guidelines.

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Karen H. Weiller, Allen W. Jackson and Rhonda D. Meyer

Previous research has reported that Hispanic youth were significantly higher in skinfolds and body mass index (BMI) when contrasted to national reference data or comparison groups of white youth. The present study sought to determine the passing percentage for a sample of Hispanic youth for the BMI and the 1-mile run (OMR) using the Fitnessgram standards. The sample included 722 children, ages 7 to 14 years. The Hispanic youth’s passing percentages for the OMR compare favorably with the National Children and Youth Fitness Studies. The BMI results indicate the passing percentages are lower for the Hispanic, which is in agreement with past reports on body composition in Hispanic youth. Using the Fitnessgram standards, these data indicate the cardiovascular endurance of Hispanic youth may be similar to or better than the general population of children in the U.S. A higher rate of unhealthy body composition may be present, which would warrant targeted interventions for Hispanic children.

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Robert H. Ferguson, Xiaofen D. Keating, Dwan M. Bridges, Jianmin Guan and Li Chen

This study aimed to determine how California secondary physical education teachers perceive the state mandated youth fitness testing for the 5th, 7th, and 9th grades using Fitnessgram. The participants were secondary school physical education teachers (N = 323). A previously validated attitudinal instrument (Keating & Silverman, 2004a) was used to collect the data. The means and standard deviations for each attitude subdomain and the overall attitudes were computed. MANOVA and ANOVA were employed to test the differences in attitudes by demographic and profession-related variables. Teachers’ overall attitudes toward the Fitnessgram were slightly higher than a neutral attitude, indicating slightly positive attitudes on a 7-point Likert scale (M = 4.47, SD = 1.06). The mean scores for the attitude subdomain of cognitive (i.e., usefulness of fitness test results) and the affective (i.e., enjoyment of implementing fitness tests, and enjoyment of using fitness test results) components were 4.25 (SD = 1.38), 4.90 (SD = 1.15), and 4.39 (SD = 1.17), respectively. The data from the study suggested that teachers marginally agreed that the test results were useful and that they somewhat enjoyed implementing the test. Class size and student grade levels taught were important profession-related variables to consider regarding teacher attitudes toward the Fitnessgram.

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Michael W. Beets and Kenneth H. Pitetti

Background:

To examine the Healthy Fitness Zone (pass/fail) criterion-referenced reliability (CRR) and equivalency (CRE) of the 1-mile run/walk (MRW) and Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) in adolescents (13 to 18 years).

Methods:

Seventy-six girls and 165 boys were randomly assigned to complete 2 trials of each test.

Results:

CRR for the boys on the MRW (Pa = 77%, κq = 0.53) was lower than on the PACER (Pa = 81%, κq = 0.63); girls were classified more similarly on the MRW (Pa = 83%, κq = 0.67) than on the PACER (Pa = 79%, κq = 0.58). The CRE between the MRW and PACER indicated boys (Pa = 77%, κq = 0.55) were classified more consistently on both tests than girls (Pa = 73%, κq = 0.46).

Conclusions:

No test provided greater consistency. Practitioners may consider other features, such as ease of administration, environmental conditions, and comparative use in the literature.