Get Fit with the New Pre-FitnessGram


Joselyn Kim

Mr. Skilins discussing the new pre-FitnessGram unit with his students.

Each year at Bronx Science, all students are required to take the FitnessGram, which tests students’ cardiovascular abilities and flexibility through the pacer, push up, curl up, and sit and reach tests.

This year, the Physical Education department has introduced the pre-FitnessGram unit. While not a favorite of students, it will ultimately help Bronx Science return to healthy zones. According to the Department of Education, all students from Kindergarten to 12th grade must receive from their school at least three hours of physical activity each week in order to be labelled as physically healthy. This is mandatory for all Bronx Science students, including athletes on sports teams.

“The pre-Fitnessgram unit helped me to get into shape for not only my FitnessGram exam but also the indoor and outdoor track season,” said Elainee Chen ’19. Chen is on the Girls’ Varsity Indoor and Outdoor Track teams during the winter and spring seasons respectively, but tries to consistently stay in shape during the fall. “[It] doesn’t hurt to practice during the pre-FitnessGram.” Eugene Toth ’20 hopes to improve the flexibility section of the FitnessGram.

“I think that by adding a new unit, it helps students focus on being in the healthy zone and making sure they challenge themselves to improve their scores just as they would in any other class.”

One of the most important tests in the FitnessGram is the pacer test, or the newly introduced mile-run. The Physical Education department introduced the mile run this year, where students are timed how long it takes them to run a mile around the gym. Mr. O’Hara, a Physical Education teacher at Bronx Science, believes that this will help students to better understand their strengths and weaknesses in running.

“Our P.E. staff incorporated this test to help improve not only one’s cardiovascular fitness, but to show students that there are indeed other forms of beneficial conditioning. Building lifelong fitness goals and establishing the framework for future healthy lives is the ultimate goal for our students,” said Mr. O’Hara.

“Since freshman year, I haven’t been able to improve my sit and reach scores, so I hope that the pre-FitnessGram improves it by one or two inches,” said Toth.

When the launch of the FitnessGram exam this fall, teachers hope to see improvement from last year’s health report with the help of this new unit. Hopefully, the PreFitnessGram will become a permanent part of the Physical Education curriculum.