Foundations of Kinesiology
November 18, 2010
National Youth Fitness Testing
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...