Marin Kids More Fit

In addition to scoring at the very top in all academic categories (in relation to other areas of California), Marin County parents, children, and school administrators can take pride in also developing some of the healthiest and most physically active kids in California. 

Marin kids scored higher on all physical categories and in all grades. No small wonder. Marin is known for plentiful parks, virtually unlimited outdoor activities, and is characterized by the active and progressive nature of its inhabitants–some would say Marin is "just a little out there" (side note: yesterday, the Marin Tourism Bureau announced that the phrase "Marin — just a little out there" would be the new branding statement for the County’s tourism platform …). 

About 86% of Bel Aire fifth-graders achieved scores in the state’s "healthy fitness zone" in six categories – aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extension strength, upper body strength and flexibility. Fifth-graders at the Tiburon school outperformed both the Marin average of 39.1% and the state average of 28.5%.

The state’s "healthy fitness zone" represents a level of fitness thought to provide some protection from potential health risks – such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease – posed by inactivity, and is intended to encourage students to develop lifetime habits of diet and exercise. More than 1.3 million students took the test statewide last spring.

Marin students did better in all three grade levels tested. In body fat composition, 84% of the county’s fifth-graders, 73% of seventh-graders and 80% of high school freshmen scored in the "healthy" zone, as compared with 68 percent of fifth-graders, 68% of seventh-graders and 70% of freshmen statewide.

The Reed Union School District had Marin’s highest percentages of elementary students meeting all six criteria, while the Tamalpais Union High School District had the highest fitness percentage for high school students.

Comprehensive test results are available online at

 *Article derived from Marin IJ, 11/26/08.