Kids Seeing Changes in Gym Class

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The State of Illinois wants students to focus more on personal fitness and state leaders say gym class could help motivate kids. The Rockford Public School District is on board with trying to help students stay healthy.

Kids at West Middle School are getting physical and breaking a sweat in gym class. It’s a much more active scene than a few years ago.
“You would probably stretch a little bit, do a couple laps, then just go and do free time. It used to get boring, we’d do the same thing over and over again,” said 7th grader Sir Love.

But that’s not the case anymore. The district is following the state’s recommendation to focus on individual lifetime fitness.

“Fitness and incorporating BMI which is Body Mass Index. They’re given a pre-test and then the semester will go on with all the activities and the fitness days and then the post test is after the semester to see if they’ve improved on their BMI score,” said West Middle School P.E. teacher.

Love says he likes the changes which include the pacer test. Doing different physical activities across the gym.

“You’re ready to do it again, you’re active, ready to get home and run and stuff like that,” Love said.

“The ultimate goal is for kids to live a long and prosperous life and in order for them to do that and to be physically fit and active and learn how to do those skills and carry it on with them in the future.

District 205 focuses on fitness two to three days a week. So kids still play sports in gym class. The state just doesn’t want PE to be all about competitive sports, without those long term health habits.

In its report a state task force also points to research that links physical fitness with better academic performance. If you want to check out that report, you can find it by clicking here.

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