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Project Fit America’s Effect on Youth Fitness Levels

Joe Deutsch, Sean Mahoney, Roman Waldera, Michelle Martinez, Ethan Schnabel


The Project Fit America (PFA) curriculum was initiated in 1990 with a mission to create and provide quality opportunities for American school children to be active, healthy, and fit. This study assessed the effect of the PFA curriculum and outdoor fitness equipment on fitness testing scores of elementary school students. Participants were 4th- and 5th-grade students including 62 females and 54 males. Students were divided into one of four groups: males experiencing (EM) or not experiencing (NEM) the PFA curriculum and females experiencing (EF) and not experiencing (NEF) the PFA curriculum. Students were tested once in the fall and once in the spring for the following activities: cadence push-ups, cadence curl-ups, sit-and-reach, and the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) test. EM and EF groups showed significant increases in their pushup, t(33) = −2.088, p = 0.045, and t(28) = −2.783, p = 0.010, and curl-up, t(33) = −2.866, p = 0.007, and t(28) = −3.08, p = 0.005, posttesting scores. Additionally, NEM showed significant increases in their PACER, t(19) = −2.202, p = 0.04, posttesting score. The results of this study indicate the implementation of the PFA curriculum may assist in increasing elementary student muscular strength and endurance fitness testing scores.

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fitness; physical education; fitness testing; elementary

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