American youth is in trouble and has been for a while. Since the 1950s there have been prevalent problems. The physical fitness level has been pretty bad for the last sixty to seventy years. Childhood obesity is growing at a ramped pace in the United States. America has done numerous test, studies, councils, meeting, groups, you name it to try and get America back on the right track. Some of the most important test has been the Kraus-Webber test, the fitness gram, and the NCYFS I and II. These tests will be the subjects that I will use to show the progression of physical fitness in the last 60 years.
First one Dr. Hans Kraus, M. D. saw the way that people lived in the 20 century, how life was becoming easier and easier and that Americans were losing muscle tone. He wanted it to go back to the way that it was when people walked everywhere for transportation, and worked on farms, and accomplished most activities through manual labor. So Krause created along with Sonya Webber and created the Kraus-Webber test for muscular fitness. The Kraus-Weber test consisted of six small test to test the strength of the participant.
Test such as sit ups, stretching, and trunk lifts to name a few. They administered the Kraus-Weber Tests to 4,400 American public school students between ages six and sixteen and to about 3,000 European students in the same age range in Switzerland, Italy, and Austria. It was said that fifty-three percent of Americans failed at least one of the components of the test. The results of the European test came back and of the 3,000 European students tested only eight percent of them failed at least one component of the test.
When results of the Kraus-Webber studies were reported to President Dwight D. Eisenhower by Senators James Kelly and James Duff, he responded by holding a White House Conference in June of 1956. Two very important things came out of its results, the formation of the President’s Council on Youth Fitness which is defined by fitness. gov by advises the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services about physical activity, fitness, and sports, and recommends programs to promote regular physical activity for the health of all Americans. The other
thing that came out as a result was appointment of the President’s Citizens Advisory Committee on the Fitness of American Youth; which was made to as a catalytic agency that would educate, stimulate, motivate, and encourage local communities and individual Americans to promote and adopt active lifestyles, also according to fitness. gov. This was an important first step in helping to gain the nation’s attention concerning fitness levels. Out of the meetings many different recommendations came from it including; the public must be made aware of the problem of establishing and maintaining fitness.
Fitness must be popularized and promoted among youth. Research on fitness is needed to decide what kind and how much. Out of school programs should include agencies already working in the field (e. g. Boy and Girl Scouts, YMCA, etc. ). Funds for any programs and initiatives should come from private industry, foundations, and community chests A greater share of tax revenues should be allocated to community recreation; Schools should have more time, equipment, and personnel for physical education and should focus increased attention on children who are not athletically gifted, rather than on “super stars”.
The standards and prestige of the physical education profession must be raised. Community recreational facilities should be increased and better use made of existing facilities. All children must have periodic medical examinations. Better leadership is needed for physical activity at home, in the school, and in the community, and adults should be role models for physical fitness. Girls should have equal opportunities for physical fitness. I believe that the Kraus- Webber test really showed us how much we as Americans had a problem in our fitness.
The Kraus-Webber test in my personal opinion is a very simplistic test that every American maybe excluding the elderly and infants should be able to do. Many today say that the Kraus-Webber test is the best test of muscular fitness today in the United States, and I agree to an extent I think according to the results that it really paints a picture of how bad our country is doing. If it were up to me on the other hand I would make a test that is a little more difficult to really test the fitness levels of the youth around the world.
I think if the test even had just a little bit of running involved that the test would be more. In 1982 the “fitness gram” was created and introduced by AAHPERD. According to fitnessgram. net, to provide an easy way for physical education teachers to report to parents on children’s fitness levels. The students are assessed in these areas of health-related fitness: cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. The fitness gram is broken up into three sections. The first is Aerobic capacity which includes the PACER test, the one mile run or walk, and a walk test.
The second section is Body composition which includes percent body fat and body mass index. The third section is Muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility this consists of abdominal stretch and endurance, trunk extensors and endurance, upper body strength and endurance, and flexibility. This test in my opinion is a much better judge of fitness in kids then the Kraus-Webber test. It is much more rigorous and applicable to physical fitness. The only thing I do not like about it is that it is a much longer test that takes a lot of time.
It’s not as practical if you have a class of a lot of students and you have a limited amount of time, it can stretch over days instead of being able to do it in one, and being able to move on to other thing that you need to cover in the class. In 1985 there was a National School Population Fitness Survey This resulted in the establishment of a new award, the National Physical Fitness Award, to recognize children who scored between the 50th and 85th percentiles on the Presidential Physical Fitness Test, as well as children who performed at the 85th percentile and above, who continued to receive the Presidential Physical Fitness Award.
I believe that making the National Physical Fitness Award was a great idea to motivate kids to want to be fit. Every kid loves to get awards for anything and it’s a great way to jump starts kids motivation to be more active. In 1984 the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Offices for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion created the NCYFS, National Children and Youth Fitness Study, to study the fitness of kids ages ten to seventeen. It consisted of five tests and a questioner on physical activities, nutrition, and television viewing.
In 1987 the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Offices for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Created the NCYFS II this study was done on kids from the age six to nine. The study consisted of the same five tests and the same questioner on physical activities, nutrition, and television viewing. The results showed a significant increase in percent body fat since 1960. Also showed a Poor performance on 1 mile test which assesses cardio respiratory fitness 36. 3% participated in daily physical education school programs and 50% out of the 36.
3% participated in vigorous physical activity. I like the aspect of these tests because of the questioner to ask about what the kids were doing in their personal time and how active they were. I also liked the simple five part test of physical fitness; it’s not easy but it not too long. I can see the progression that we have made since the Kraus-Webber we are advancing all the time and we need to keep it up. The progression and awareness of physical fitness in the United States have come along quite a bit but we still have the same problem that we did before.
There are more advances being made every day that make people more inclined to sit around and watch television or to play video games and things like that instead of getting out and do something. Also more things are being made to do work for us and be our only source for transportation. We need to do more and keep progressing in ways to get America back on the right track of physical fitness. I have some ideas on how we can make a dent in the problem in America.
I think that the first way that we will get back on track is by making physical education more strenuous and have it more frequently, like every day, that way kids will be active every day that they go to school and there is no way that kids kid can slip through cracks of inactivity. I know that I am bias because I was an active child and I know that this is an unpopular solution to the problem, but it is the only way that I know of that would put a dent in the problem that we have. Another thing that we can do is do a better job of parenting.
The parents have to be held accountable for thing that their kids eat and the amount of time that they are able to sit around and do nothing. I know that when I was growing up I wasn’t really allowed to watch Television during the day, if the sun was up me and my brother were outside playing games making up games just running around. I believe that for that reason I have grown up with a desire to be active. I think more parents should be like my parents were and make your kids go outside and be creative.
I think that these drastic times call for drastic measures and if we want to see a change in our country in the department of physical education. The last Idea I have is having the schools do a better job of regulating the food that the students are able to eat at the school. The schools should have healthier choices for the kids to choose so that kids eat less fatty and greasy foods so that the kids wont feel sluggish and want to just sit down. I know again that this is an unpopular solution for the problem, but I think that in the end it will be well worth it. America does have a problem but that doesn’t mean that we should just accept it.
As you can see there are many things that can be done In the progression to a healthier America. Work Cited “National Children and Youth Fitness Study (NCYFS). ” http://www. nku. edu/~lipping/PHE125/National%20Children%20and%20Youth%20Fitness%20Study. htm. NKU. Web. Unknown. “AAHPERD 1986-2009. ” http://www. highbeam. com/doc/1G1-222228134. html. High beam. Web. November. 2009 “President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. ” http://www. fitness. gov/50thanniversary/toolkit-firstfiftyyears. htm. Fitness. Web. 2003 “Program Overview” http://www. fitnessgram. net/overview/. Fitnessgram. Web. 2010