Making the Fitness Grade
Physical fitness plays an important role in children's healthy growth and how well students perform academically. The Health and Physical Education Department, in cooperation with the Cambridge Public Health Department, strives to instill healthy fitness habits in all students. Each year students perform fitness testing that measures how fit our students are. Students also have their Body Mass Index (BMI) measured to help Physical Education staff, School Health staff and parents gauge whether or not students are maintaining a healthy weight.
Parents of students in grades K-8 will soon be receiving Health and Fitness Progress Reports that displays their child's fitness scores, BMI and the BMI percentiles for the last school year and this school year. The report is designed to be easy to understand and help parents follow their child's fitness level and weight.
Cambridge Public Schools also tracks the BMI of 10th graders as required by the State. Parents will be receiving that information as well.
Translated versions of the Health and Fitness Progress Report are available in Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Heart Health Score
This test measures cardiovascular endurance. Students run and collect objects within a time limit.
Upper Body Strength Score
This test measures the upper body strength/endurance by determining how many pull ups or modified pull ups a student can perform. Students who cannot perform a pull up or modified pull up are tested alternately by determining how log they can perform a flexed arm hang.
To improve upper body strength, students can play on the monkey bars, do pull-ups, swim, climb or play racket sports.
Abdominal Strength Score
This test measures abdominal strength/endurance by measuring how long students can maintain a curl up using only their stomach muscles to support them.
To improve abdominal strength, students can do curl-ups, gymnastics, dance and sit up straight.
The Back Saver Sit and Reach Test measures the flexibility of hamstring muscles. Students reach forward as far as possible while keeping one knee bent and one knee straight. The score is an average of how well they performed on the left and right leg.
To improve flexibility, students can do yoga, martial arts, or warm up and stretching exercises.
Students perform a Shuttle Run exam by running 30 feet and to pick up an object and and return 30 feet to place the item on the starting line. The more quickly students can move the items to the starting line, the higher their score.
To improve agility, students can play basketball, racket sports or skate.
Students' BMI measurements are determined using their height and weight. BMI Percentiles are based on a child's height and weight, compared to other children of the same age and gender, and are calculated using the methods provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Click here for more information about BMI and BMI percentiles.