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Fitness Test History

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Featuring a slew of different physical measures, Skyline students have participated in the Fitness Test since 1983. Helping bring the examination to the school is Fitness Testing Coordinator Bob Lualhati, who has an extensive past intertwined with the history of all Skyline Sports since the early 1980’s.

Taken by every student enrolled in a Physical Education Course, these tests help determine one’s physical attributes through the measurement of height, weight, blood pressure, and body fat, among others. Students take two days off of PE classes to meet in the gym, casually waiting for their turn to also perform the step-test, RHR (resting heart rate), and flexibility.

“The reason we do this, is for education,” says Lualhati. After compiling a few semesters’ worth of data at Skyline, Lualhati approached the Board of Trustees in 1983 to formally introduce the Fitness Test as a means to collect and analyze the composition of students attending the college. A doctor who praised his work, and encouraged him to continue the project into a standard for the school later approached him.

Since its inception, the project has tested over 40,000 students, watching the progressive change in body composition over two decades worth of data. Back in the early 80’s, only 35% of students were over fat (not overweight, which implies that muscle weight is the culprit in our bodies). Of that, only 10% of the student populations were obese. Fast forward to the 2008 data, this shows that now 55% of students are over fat, and around 20% are obese.

All of this information is used to help determine the needs for classes to be offered in following semesters, and as a barometer for the health of our community. Whenever any type of budget cuts are mentioned by the state, physical education classes are usually at the top of the list. With all of the data that Skyline has collected, the school has the unique ability to show that our student body actually needs certain types of classes, as well as the results to prove that they work.

During the test itself, students are often surprised to find out their abilities in different categories. As they remove their shoes for the height measurement, many find that they are actually shorter than they care to admit.

“Here, we do the measurement to the nearest quarter-inch in height,” said Lualhati. For the weight test, the shoes remain off as some claim the scale is incorrect. “Still impossible,” says Lualhati, as the scales used in the gym “are used by our wrestling team before every match.”

Blood pressure is used to warn students of any future problems they may incur, such as hypertension. 120/80 is the average – anything lower and you can consider yourself healthy. Resting heart rate also serves as a good indicator to one’s overall cardiovascular system. Women can expect an average of 70-80 beats per minute, while men average slightly less, in the 60-70BPM. These numbers are roughly guidelines, and should be used in conjunction with a physician’s advice.

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The student news site of Skyline College.
Fitness Test History