Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Physical fitness for children--Iowa--Testing; Physical fitness for children--Testing; Physical fitness--Testing; Iowa;


The purpose of the study was to determine the current philosophies and practices of physical educators regarding physical fitness assessment of children and youth in public and private schools in Iowa. Specifically, the study was designed to investigate the physical fitness assessment preparational procedures, the actual testing procedures, the follow-up procedures to testing, and the professional opinions regarding physical fitness testing of children and youth.

The subjects included physical educators from 79 Iowa schools that participated in the Iowa Youth Fitness Project. These subjects were selected based on their prior involvement in the collection of data concerning the physical fitness of students in their schools (Hensley, 1992). The process in which the schools that participated in the Iowa Youth Fitness Project were chosen involved a multi-stage cluster sampling procedure. The Iowa Youth Physical Fitness Testing Questionnaire was sent to the designated physical educators and 69 chose to respond. Frequencies and percentages of responses to pertinent questions were determined during data analysis. The results of this study indicated that in the overwhelming majority of Iowa schools, formal physical fitness assessments are conducted regularly. The most commonly used standardized physical fitness batteries were the President's Challenge, Physical Best, followed by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance's Health-Related Physical Fitness Test. The results also indicated that the two most commonly tested physical fitness components were cardiovascular endurance and flexibility which were also two components the physical educators felt were the most appropriate components of any physical fitness test battery. The components of muscular endurance and muscular strength were also frequently used and considered appropriate. One area of physical fitness assessment in which the educators had differing opinions m both philosophy and practice regarded the assessment of body composition. The inclusion of body composition measures was not reportedly occurring in the majority of physical education programs. Some respondents indicated that district administrative policy did not allow the testing of student body composition. The results further indicated that the Iowa physical educators felt that physical fitness assessment should begin in the lower to middle elementary grade levels and that the perceived physical fitness status of Iowa children and youth is in the range of average to good.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Larry D. Hensley

Second Advisor

Forrest Dolgener

Third Advisor

Iradge Ahrabi-Fard


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Date Original


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