Lincoln Kids More Fit: School, Community Efforts Working By Bob Rauner, MD, MPH Director, Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln
Fit is It, for Kids & Adults hile obesity is still an important community health problem, the science behind community health shows that being aerobically fit is even more important to the overall health of both kids and adults. Research shows that an added benefit of aerobic fitness for kids is not only improved health, but also improved academic performance and behavioral health. To be successful in school, kids need learning time and active time, both in the classroom and on the playground. Our own Lincoln Public Schools data shows that students who pass the district aerobic fitness test (Fitnessgram PACER) perform markedly better on the state tests (NeSA) for reading, math and science.
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Lincoln Public Schools Improves Again Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools continue to work on joint projects to improve the health of Lincoln’s school age children. Due to these efforts, LPS students have improved their fitness rates every year since 2011. The efforts of Lincoln Public Schools health and physical education teachers combined with community efforts show continued
improvement in physical fitness for Lincoln’s kids. Not only is overall fitness getting better, unique to Lincoln is that our kids maintain and improve aerobic fitness as they enter middle school. This is counter to national trends which usually show that students become less physically fit in increasing grades.
• Increasing the percentage of 4th-8th grade students passing the Fitnessgram PACER aerobic fitness test in all grades to 80% by 2020. • Decreasing by 20% from a 2010 baseline the percentage of Kindergarten - 8th grade students who are obese by 2020. This reduction would double the national Healthy People 2020 goals for reducing child obesity. We already beat the national target of a 10% reduction last year!
Promoting Fitness Beyond the Schools Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln, Lincoln Public Schools and other community partners who work on health and fitness have set a goal for improvement for our community’s children for 2020. We are calling this long-term goal Fit by 2020. The goals are:
Another focus of our projects this last year is expanding efforts beyond the school day. Our school system is a critical part of the community effort, but they can’t improve the health and fitness of our children on their own. Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln collaborates with twenty-one local
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