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California Department of Education News Release
Release: #11-95
November 30, 2011
Contact: Tina Jung
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

Physical Fitness Test Results for 2011 Prompt Schools
Chief Tom Torlakson and NBA All-Star Bill Walton
to Team Up for Healthy Kids Campaign

EL CAJON—With only 31 percent of students posting healthy scores in all six areas of the latest Physical Fitness Test, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson joined NBA all-star Bill Walton today in urging schools across California to take part in the Team California for Healthy Kids campaign.

"Today's results are clear: when only 31 percent of children are physically fit, that's a public health challenge we can't wait to address," Torlakson said. "That's where our Team California for Healthy Kids campaign can make a world of difference, by helping make healthy choices the easy choices, at school and beyond."

Torlakson and Walton discussed the public awareness campaign at a news conference at Grossmont High School in El Cajon, where they also released the results of the state's 2011 Physical Fitness Test.

The 2011 Physical Fitness Test was administered to 1.34 million students representing 93 percent of pupils enrolled in fifth, seventh, and ninth grades (Table 1). New standards have been established for the aerobic capacity and body composition fitness areas. Under the new criteria for aerobic capacity and body composition, these fitness areas are broken down into three categories: (1) In the Healthy Fitness Zone® (HFZ®), (2) Needs Improvement (i.e., not in HFZ®), and (3) Needs Improvement—High Risk (i.e., not in HFZ®—High Risk). In the last four fitness areas of abdominal strength, trunk extensor strength, upper body strength, and flexibility, performance is classified into two general areas: (1) In the HFZ® and (2) Needs Improvement. A score in the HFZ® indicates the student's level of fitness is sufficient for good health.

While aerobic capacity is an indicator of physical fitness, body composition is perhaps the most important indicator of who will develop future health problems. The results show 34.1 percent of grade five students, 30.3 percent of grade seven students, and 25.0 percent of grade nine students are categorized as High Risk (Table 1).

Table 2 provides a bridge for comparisons between the previous year's results with the 2011 data by applying both the 2010 and 2011 standards to the aerobic capacity and body composition scores for those students tested in 2011.  

To score in the HFZ®, the test requires, for instance, that a five-foot six-inch, 150-pound, 15-year-old ninth grade male run a mile within nine minutes, perform at least 16 push-ups, and do at least 24 curl-ups. For all six areas of the test:

  • 25.2 percent of fifth-grade students were in the HFZ®, compared to 29 percent in 2010;
  • 32.0 percent of seventh-grade students were in the HFZ®, compared to 35 percent in 2010; and
  • 36.8 percent of ninth-grade students were in the HFZ®, compared to 38.7 percent in 2010 (Tables 3 and 4).                                                              

A teacher and longtime high school cross country coach, Torlakson launched the Team California for Healthy Kids effort to engage celebrity athletes, community leaders, public health advocates, parents, teachers, and students in achieving three major goals:

  • Increasing physical activity, especially moderate-to-vigorous physical activity throughout the day, every day, in schools and communities.
  • Increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables in meals and snacks in early childhood and after-school programs, and in salad bars in schools.
  • Increasing access to drinking water.

Athletes and others involved in the campaign will be visiting schools throughout the state to encourage local efforts to increase physical activity and increase access to water, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Working alongside Walton on the effort as the Team's co-chairs are former NFL star William "Bubba" Paris, ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes, fitness expert Lorrie Sullenberger, and UCLA Professor Toni Yancey, MD, MPH.

Organizers have created a set of online resources and tools available to any school or community organization looking to promote student health and fitness. The campaign's materials are posted on the California Department of Education's Web site at Team California for Healthy Kids - Initiatives & Programs or at the Team California for Healthy Kids site at Team California Home [http://www.teamcaliforniaforhealthykids.org] External link opens in new window or tab..

The California State Board of Education designated the FITNESSGRAM® in 1996 as the required Physical Fitness Test that local educational agencies administer to students annually in grades five, seven, and nine. State law requires all public schools in California to report these results in their School Accountability Report Cards and provide students with their individual results.

The FITNESSGRAM® was designed by The Cooper Institute to evaluate fitness performance and increase the likelihood students will adopt lifetime patterns of physical activity. The FITNESSGRAM® assesses six fitness areas: (1) aerobic capacity, (2) body composition, (3) abdominal strength, (4) trunk extensor strength, (5) upper body strength, and (6) flexibility.

The 2011 Physical Fitness Test results for schools, school districts, counties, and state are available on the California Department of Education Web site at PFT Results - Physical Fitness Testing (PFT). For information on the Team California for Healthy Kids initiative, please visit Team California for Healthy Kids - Initiatives & Programs.

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Attachments

2011 Physical Fitness Test Results

Table 1: 2011 Percentage of Grade Five, Seven, and Nine
Students in Healthy Fitness Zone1 (HFZ) by Fitness Areas

Fitness Areas

Number of Grade 5 Students2

Percent of Grade 5 Students in HFZ

Percent of Grade 5 Students Not in HFZ

Percent of Grade 5 Students Not in HFZ –
High Risk3

Number of Grade 7 Students2

Percent of Grade 7 Students in HFZ

Percent of Grade 7 Students Not in HFZ

Percent of Grade 7 Students Not in HFZ –
High Risk3

Number of Grade 9 Students2

Percent of Grade 9 Students in HFZ

Percent of Grade 9 Students Not in HFZ

Percent of Grade 9 Students Not in HFZ –
High Risk3

Aerobic Capacity

454,703

61.4

30.5

8.1

442,543

63.0

25.3

11.7

445,077

61.7

25.5

12.8

Body Composition

454,703

52.1

13.8

34.1

442,543

55.5

14.2

30.3

445,077

59.4

15.6

25.0

Abdominal Strength

454,703

78.8

21.2

N/A

442,543

85.1

14.9

N/A

445,077

87.2

12.8

N/A

Trunk Extensor Strength

454,703

87.4

12.6

N/A

442,543

90.2

9.8

N/A

445,077

92.0

8.0

N/A

Upper Body Strength

454,703

69.0

31.0

N/A

442,543

72.1

27.9

N/A

445,077

77.4

22.6

N/A

Flexibility

454,703

70.9

29.1

N/A

442,543

79.1

20.9

N/A

445,077

83.7

16.3

N/A

1  Healthy Fitness Zone® is a registered trademark of The Cooper Institute.
2  Includes partially tested students.
3  Aerobic Capacity and Body Composition fitness areas have added a new standard category for 2011, Not in HFZ - High Risk (Needs Improvement – High Risk). Students in this area have the potential for future health problems. The need for increased activity and eating a healthy controlled diet is more urgent for students in this category than those students in the Not in HFZ (Needs Improvement) category. High-risk category does not exist for fitness areas that are denoted as N/A (not applicable). New standards applied to Aerobic Capacity and Body Composition fitness areas are located on the California Department of Education (CDE) Physical Fitness Test Program Resources Web page at Program Resources - Physical Fitness Testing (PFT).

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Table 2: 2011 and 2010 Comparison of Results
 for Grades Five, Seven, and Nine Students

Physical Fitness
Test Areas

Percent of 2011 Grade 5 Students in HFZ1 Applying 2010 Standards3

Percent of 2011 Grade 5 Students in HFZ1 Applying 2011 Standards4

Percent Change 2011 – 2010 Standards

Percent of 2011 Grade 7 Students in HFZ1 Applying 2010 Standards3

Percent of 2011 Grade 7 Students in HFZ1 Applying 2011 Standards4

Percent Change 2011 – 2010 Standards

Percent of 2011 Grade 9 Students in HFZ1 Applying 2010 Standards3

Percent of 2011 Grade 9 Students in HFZ1 Applying 2011 Standards4

Percent Change 2011 – 2010 Standards

Aerobic Capacity

64.7

61.4

-3.3

65.9

63.0

-2.9

61.1

61.7

0.6

Body Composition

70.2

52.1

-18.1

69.7

55.5

-14.2

72.4

59.4

-13.0

1  This table provides a comparison of the 2011 administration results using both the 2010 and 2011 standards. New standards applied to Aerobic Capacity and Body Composition fitness areas are located on the CDE Physical Fitness Test Program Resources Web page at Program Resources - Physical Fitness Testing (PFT).
2  Healthy Fitness Zone® is a registered trademark of The Cooper Institute.
3  Results using 2010 HFZ Standards.
4  Results using 2011 HFZ Standards.

Explanation of table contents: Line 1 shows the percentage of students in grades five, seven, and nine in 2010–11 who scored in the HFZ for the Aerobic Capacity fitness area applying both 2009–10 and the 2010–11 standards. Line 2 shows the percentage of students who scored in the HFZ for the Body Composition fitness area after applying both the 2009–10 and the 2010–11 standards. Approximately 61.4 percent of the grade 5 students, who were tested in 2010–11 scored in the HFZ. To allow for comparison to previous years these same students' aerobic capacity scores were scored with the 2009–10 standards, resulting in 64.7 percent of the students scoring in the HFZ. Approximately 59.4 percent of the grade nine students scored in the HFZ for body composition, if the 2009–10 standards were applied to these same students 72.4 percent would have scored in the HFZ.

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Table 3: 2011 Percentage of Grade Five, Seven, and Nine Students
Number of Fitness Areas in the Healthy Fitness Zone1 (HFZ)

Number of Fitness Areas in the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ)2

Number of Grade 5 Students3

Percent of Grade 5 Students in HFZ

Cumulative Percent of Grade 5 Students in HFZ4

Number of Grade 7 Students3

Percent of Grade 7 Students in HFZ

Cumulative Percent of Grade 7 Students in HFZ4

Number of Grade 9 Students3

Percent of Grade 9 Students in HFZ

Cumulative Percent of Grade 9 Students in HFZ4

6 of 6

114,690

25.2

25.2

141,813

32.0

32.0

163,795

36.8

36.8

5 of 6

105,641

23.2

48.4

101,113

22.8

54.8

100,478

22.6

59.4

4 of 6

91,855

20.2

68.6

85,979

19.4

74.2

85,969

19.3

78.7

3 of 6

70,424

15.5

84.1

61,936

14.0

88.2

54,099

12.2

90.9

2 of 6

45,749

10.1

94.2

34,604

7.8

96.0

26,073

5.9

96.8

1 of 6

21,415

4.7

98.9

13,892

3.1

99.1

10,846

2.4

99.2

0 of 6

4,929

1.1

100.0

3,206

0.7

99.8

3,817

0.9

100.0

Total Tested

454,703

N/A5

N/A5

442,543

N/A5

N/A5

445,077

N/A5

N/A5

1  Healthy Fitness Zone® is a registered trademark of The Cooper Institute.
2  New standards applied to aerobic capacity and body composition fitness areas are located on the CDE Physical Fitness Test Program Resources Web page at Program Resources - Physical Fitness Testing (PFT).
3  Includes partially tested students.
4  Column percents may not add to 100 percent due to rounding.
5  N/A means not applicable.

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Table 4: Percentage of Grade Five, Seven, and Nine Students
in Healthy Fitness Zone1 (HFZ) for 6-Out-of-6 Fitness Areas

Grade

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

20112

Percent Change 2011 to 2006

Percent Change 2011 to 2010

Grade 5

25.6

27.1

28.5

29.2

29.0

25.2

-0.4

-3.8

Grade 7

29.6

30.9

32.9

34.2

35.0

32.0

2.4

-3.0

Grade 9

27.4

30.1

35.6

37.9

38.7

36.8

9.4

-1.9

1  Healthy Fitness Zone® is a registered trademark of The Cooper Institute.
2  New standards applied to aerobic capacity and body composition fitness areas are located on the CDE Physical Fitness Test Program Resources Web page at Program Resources - Physical Fitness Testing (PFT).

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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