About The Program
The Un-Fit Kids Problem
Today’s children suffer from a widespread lack of physical fitness and unhealthy dietary habits, resulting in soaring rates of obesity and other lifestyle-related health problems and risk factors:
- Half of kids 9-11 don’t get adequate daily exercise, 1/3 are overweight, unhealthy snack foods (sodas, sweets, processed foods) are readily available, and no nutrition education is offered in school.1
- 40 percent of California fifth graders could not pass a basic aerobic fitness test1, identifying them as early at-risk for diseases that result from sedentary living2.
- Half of California elementary schools report a deficit on the state-mandated 200 minutes of P.E. every ten days (avg. deficit 60 min!).
- Suburban sprawl favors autos over walking/cycling (children walking to school has declined from 80% to 10% in a single generation)
- Technology and lack of supervision minimize spontaneous outdoor recreation (kids use electronic media 5.5 hours per day4)
- Distressing modern food choices and dietary habits (excess sugar, soda and processed foods) contribute to poor health and fitness
- Organized sports trending towards overly competitive and selective (62% of kids 9-13 don’t participate in any organized sports)
- Annual cost of obesity in California is $28 billion and projected to skyrocket3
- 1/3 of high school students are completely sedentary
- Today’s children have a lower life expectancy than their parents for the first time!
The Running School Solution – simple, immediate, direct impact
- Measurable: We measure kids’ times against the nationwide FITNESSGRAM test’s age-graded standards. We encourage them to attain performances in the Cooper Institute’s “Healthy Fitness Zone”, which represents a fitness level offering protection against sedentary-related health problems.
- Academic Benefits4: Studies link adequate physical activity with improved academic performance, classroom behavior/attention levels and self-esteem.
- Evolved Values: Students strive for personal improvement, with results-based motivators de-emphasized in favor of cultivating a pure motivation.
- Complementary: Individual cardiovascular exercise complements P.E. curriculum focused on cooperative skills and hand-eye coordination.
- Field Tested: Extraordinary success enjoyed at Skyridge Elementary School in Auburn, CA for three years.
- Perfect Partners: Running School connects with willing participants (schools and students) who lack budget and resources provided by program.
1 – 2005 California Physical Education Health Project
2 – Cooper Aerobic Institute Study (FITNESSGRAM test)
3 - 2005 California Department of Health Services study
4 – A 2002 CDE study of 954,000 California students matched performance on the standardized Stanford Achievement Test with results of the state-mandated Fitnessgram, a comprehensive physical fitness test. The result: “statistical analysis indicating a distinct and linear correlation between students’ academic achievement and fitness scores.”