Latest physical fitness scores show OC kids outpacing state averages

Orange County students in grades five, seven and nine have once again outperformed state averages on an annual fitness assessment.

More than 110,000 OC students participated earlier this year in the 2015-16 Physical Fitness Test, which measured aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extensor strength, upper body strength and flexibility. 

Students runningAccording to results released this week, 43.9 percent of local ninth-graders scored in the Healthy Fitness Zone in all six areas, as did 31.6 percent of fifth-graders and 39.6 percent of seventh-graders. Last year, the rates were 46 percent for ninth-graders, 32.8 percent for fifth-graders and 39.5 percent for seventh-graders. 

You can find more county data here, or check out the reports for individual schools and districts.

In California, 36.7 percent of ninth-grade students hit all six Healthy Fitness Zone targets, along with 25.9 percent of fifth-graders and 32.1 percent of seventh-graders. Those numbers are down slightly compared to the previous two years, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said.

“Healthy, active and well-nourished children are more likely to attend school and are more prepared and motivated to learn,” he said. “There is a direct correlation between good nutrition, exercise, student wellness and the ability of our students to learn well.”

The Healthy Fitness Zone represents levels of fitness that offer protection against chronic diseases resulting from a sedentary lifestyle. Find out more in this news release.