Physical Fitness Test Administration Practices and Students’ Cognitive Understanding of Physical Fitness


  • Susan L. Eastham California State University, Stanislaus



physical fitness testing, health-related fitness, physically active lifestyle


The purpose of this study was to examine physical education teachers’ physical fitness test administration practices, specifically how physical education teachers helped their students to develop a cognitive understanding of the health-related physical fitness components before and after test administration. Ten middle school and high school physical education teachers from Central California were interviewed about their test administration practices. The teachers were asked to describe how they conducted the tests and how the students were educated about the health-related fitness components before and after test administration. The results of the study identified only three of the teachers giving specific health-related fitness instruction to their students. The teachers described various instructions given to the students before test administration about the test purposes, but none of the teachers reported discussing with their students that the purpose of the test was to promote a physically active lifestyle. Only half of the teachers reported providing the students with their test results after test administration, and if an explanation of the test results was given to the students, it was typically brief. For students to make the connection between the test results and health-related fitness, it is important for teachers to provide specific health-related fitness instruction. When effective test administration, instruction of health-related fitness, and interpretation of test results to the students occur, physical fitness testing can be a valuable assessment that leads students to be more likely to adopt a physically active lifestyle.

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Author Biography

Susan L. Eastham, California State University, Stanislaus

Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Stanislaus