School fitness clubs

Instead of playing volleyball or soccer, students at Chicago-area middle schools work out at school fitness centers, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago-area middle schools are establishing fitness centers, complete with youth-size cardiovascular equipment and weights. Physical education classes focus on wellness and healthy living as opposed to how many chin-ups a kid can do.

In Naperville, only 3 percent of ninth graders are overweight or obese, compared to 35 percent of high school students nationwide.

According to the story, my old junior high, Edgewood, which required girls to wear bloomers for PE, now has a fitness center; so does Highland Park High, which made me play field hockey.

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Comments

  1. This makes me very happy. I seem to recall gym class as being more focused on learning rules of games and standing around trying not to ruin h air or make-up then doing any exercise.

    Now as an adult who struggles with my weight, I wish I had had a gym class that focused on exercise, rather than the rules of volley ball

  2. Cardinal Fang says:

    Bravo for Naperville that only 3 percent of its ninth graders are overweight, but no fair comparing it to the national rate. What’s the overweight rate for similar high-income areas? Not a lot of the kids at Palo Alto High are overweight, as far as I notice when I bike past the school.

  3. Indigo Warrior says:

    Chicago-area middle schools are establishing fitness centers, complete with youth-size cardiovascular equipment and weights. Physical education classes focus on wellness and healthy living as opposed to how many chin-ups a kid can do.

    Finally, some sense in physical education.

    Phys-ed classes, and public schools themselves, are useless if they are nothing but jock farms. Like the bird said, wellness and healthy living. which goes quite beyond exercise (which had better be personalized and non-competitive). This can include instructions on how to assemble a healthy sandwich rather than a bag of chips with root beer. It would also help if the teacher is an adult fitness trainer totally removed from the public school jock culture.

    Also, some tracking might help. The super-duper-jocks in one class, the less athletic in another, and th eleast athletic in another.

  4. JuggleBoy says:

    The “super-duper-jocks” are already tracked by middleschool… you don’t have to take PE when you’re on one of the athletic teams…

  5. Very cool…I’ve been hoping more districts would do this. But I hope they also teach some individual sports that people will be able to continue for life. They’re healthy _and_ fun. Tennis has been great for me.

    Also, while it’s obvious why there aren’t a lot of 40 year olds playing football, it’s kind of a shame that, as the article says, only 3% of people over 23 play team sports. They’re great for social connectedness as well as physical health. It would probably be tough to get people back into leagues who have been out for 20 years, but maybe we could make some progress by keeping the 23-35 set involved. Ultimate frisbee, in particular, is great with groups of all sizes and ability levels.

  6. Aren’t “health” classes supposed to teach healthy living? I remember doing food diaries, learning about balanced diets and how to take care of my heart (and other organs) in health class. Phys Ed IS for push-ups and football…

  7. Supersub, when I went to school, Health was supposed to be squeezed into Gym class – which was taught by men hired for their skill as team coaches, and really didn’t even have time for proper exercise…