The statewide physical fitness testing program was first authorized in 1976 and reestablished in 1995 as part of the California Assessment of Academic Achievement Act. In February 1996, the State Board of Education designated FITNESSGRAM® as the required physical fitness test that Local education agencies shall administer to California students in grades five, seven, and nine. In addition to the students Physical Education class the test provides information that can be used by the student to assess and plan personal fitness programs, and for students, parents and guardians to understand their children’s fitness levels. This program also provides results that are used to monitor changes in the physical fitness of California students. By law (EC Section 60800), all local education agencies in California are required to administer the Physical Fitness Test annually to all students in grades five, seven, and nine. The FITNESSGRAM® is composed of the following six fitness areas, with a number of test options provided for most areas: Aerobic Capacity: PACER, One-Mile Run; Abdominal Strengthand Endurance: Curl-Up; Upper Body Strength and Endurance: Push-Up; Composition: Body Mass Index Bioelectric Impedance Analyzer; Trunk Extensor Strength and Flexibility: Trunk Lift; and Flexibility: Shoulder Stretch. The FITNESSGRAM® uses objective criteria to evaluate performance for each fitness area. The Cooper Institute established these criteria using current research and expert opinions. These criteria represent a level of fitness that offers some protection against the diseases associated with physical inactivity.
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