Mandatory fitness tests start next year for Georgia students - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Mandatory fitness tests start next year for Georgia students

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Georgia students will soon see how they measure up on fitness and what they need to improve.

Next year, annual fitness assessments will become mandatory for students statewide.

Some south Georgia teachers were testing out the program Wednesday.

Teachers do crunches at the Lowndes High School gym. It's all part of test called fitnessgram that will be required next year by the Georgia Student Health and Physical Education or Shape Act.

"You don't want to be morbid or anything but it's a matter of life and with more and more kids becoming obese I just think it's going to be a big help," said Lowndes Coach Danny Redshaw.

Superintendent Dr. Steve Smith volunteered the Lowndes Couty school system to be one of five in the state to participate in a pilot program to find out how best to implement the program statewide. Soon, students in P.E. classes and athletes will be evaluated on endurance, strength, and flexibility like this sit and reach test I tried out Wednesday.

"The kids we measure this year, we want them to improve between now and the next year," said Redshaw. "That's what we want to see get done," said Redshaw.

The fitness assessments will be given each year as detailed in House Bill 229 that focuses on Health and wellness.

"Ultimately the program is to help develop lifelong health and wellness activities it's more about changing those day to day physical activity and nutrition habits than it is passing the test," said Mark Anderson, the superviors of health and physical education for Cobb County school district and teaching the Fitnessgram class.

 "20 years ago we had less than 10 percent of our adult population was obese and now we're pushing 30 percent," said Redshaw.

He says the high obesity rate just leads to high medical bills and is simply just not good for anybody. He's glad to have the program in the schools to combat this problem that's become an epidemic across our country.

Organizers say the program will help teachers adapt their lesson plans to different ability groups and help communities fight obesity.

Click here to find out more.

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