How it Works: Presidential Physical Fitness Test for Kids

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Do you remember back in the day when we were kids and participated in the Presidential Physical Fitness Test? It was so much fun to be physically fit, compete enjoyably and even be rewarded for trying. The Presidential Physical Fitness Test recognizes and rewards students for their physical fitness levels. It is comprised of five events, including curl-ups or partial curl-ups, shuttle run, endurance walk or run, pull-ups or right-angle push-ups, and V-sit (exercise to tone the abdominals) or sit and reach.


The program offers the three awards as recognition of students’ having demonstrated meeting the program qualifications: The Presidential Physical Fitness Award which recognizes performance in the 85th percentile, the National Physical Fitness Award honoring the 50th percentile, and the Participant Physical Fitness Award that recognizes and awards those who attempt all five events, regardless of how they score. Recognizing and rewarding kids for trying encourages them to keeping being involved and trying. I believe the kids are also inspired by other kids who perform at higher levels in the Presidential Physical Fitness Test.


The Physical Fitness Test offers these guidelines that will prove to be helpful in getting kids to participate:

· It is recommended that fitness testing take place at least twice each year, once in the fall and once in the spring.

· Including the Physical Fitness Test as part of a complete physical education program is most effective.

· As with beginning any exercise or physical activity regimen, it is best and highly recommended to ensure that students’ general health is conducive to participating in the program, reviewing and considering any existing or potential health issues.

· It is absolutely crucial that prior to beginning, students know and can demonstrate the correct techniques for each test, including proper pacing and running style.

· Allow students to attempt any event as many times as they desire.

· For consistency and fairness, use the age the student was at the start of testing in determining award levels.

Participating in programs or events such as the President’s Physical Fitness Test encourages kids and gives them something to look forward to. It allows for a sense of accomplishment. It opens the doors to self-improvement, self-care and living a healthy lifestyle. Such a test or program environment also allows kids to compete physically without having to join athletic-related sports, although these physical activities afford many physical, mental and emotional fitness benefits as well. Let’s hear from our children, and help them become and remain physically fit.