Measuring Physical Fitness in Georgia's Schools

Measuring Physical Fitness in Georgia's Schools—An Illustration of the Impact of One Indicator in the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework

In partnership with the Georgia Departments of Health, Education and Human Services, HealthMPowers, Georgia State University, and other key stakeholders, Georgia has been collecting annual health-related fitness data on one million students in grades 4–12 since 2012. These data align with the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework’s physical activity and reduced sedentary behavior indicator, MT3. To initiate this work, training was provided to all K–12 schools by HealthMPowers to ensure consistency in fitness assessment administration, data collection, and messaging about fitness. Results have been used by a variety of sectors.

Teachers have drawn on individual student data to set personal goals and create plans for improving health-related fitness levels. Schools and school districts have used the data to build on comprehensive school physical activity programming and policies. The results have also been used by nonprofits, community organizations, state departments, and universities to evaluate school-based interventions, create new programs and training, examine trends, and build data-driven computer models for projecting the childhood obesity rate that can inform legislators and community leaders on childhood obesity trends.

Chart showing the percent of students in the Healthy Fitness Zone using Fitnessgram Assessment 2012-2015

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