FITNESSGRAM® Friday: A Middle School Physical Activity and Fitness Intervention




Murray, Tinker D.
Eldridge, James A.
Silvius, Pete
Silvius, Erik
Squires, William G.

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Berkeley Electronic Press


Texas Senate Bill 530 (2007) mandated fitness assessment as part of the annual K-8 Physical Education (PE) curricula, yet no studies have reported interventions designed to improve and quantify individual student passing rates or individual school performance. Students (Total 2008-2010 N=1484; 729 females, 755 males; mean age = 11.85 y; mean BMI = 22.69 or > 90%-tile, overweight) were evaluated on individual FITNESSGRAM® performances in a cross-sectional analysis of 6th graders comparing baseline scores (year 1) with outcomes of a physical activity intervention in years 2 and 3. Students participated in regular PE classes (including campus wellness center activities) with a once a week focus (FITNESSGRAM® Friday) on improving mile run scores and other assessment scores. Students significantly improved FITNESSGRAM® scores following the PE intervention to levels similar to state reported averages. On average, boys improved their pushups by 32.7%, trunk lift by 17.4% and mile run times by 29.5%. Averages for girls improved by 15.4% for pushups, 6.7% for truck lift, and by 38.6% for the mile run. The percentage of boys in our study achieving all six FITNESSGRAM® tests in the HFZ was 3% at baseline and 22% following intervention. The percentage of girls meeting the criteria for the HFZ on all six FITNESSGRAM® tests was 4.5% at baseline and 20% following intervention. This study provides a potential model for fitness success in other middle school PE interventions, in Texas and the nation.



physical education, fitness testing, public health policy, adolescents, Health and Human Performance


Murray, T. D., Eldridge, J., Silvius, P., Silvius, E., & Squires, W. G. (2012). FITNESSGRAM Friday: A middle school physical activity and fitness intervention. International Journal of Exercise Science, 5(1), pp. 4-15.


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