Fitness Outcomes

RISE shares the Trust's vision of using research-based measures to evaluate overall program quality as well as outcome changes in reading, fitness, and behavior management. 

Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER)

Decreasing levels of activity during childhood and adolescence in the United States has heightened public health interest of the need for successful physical activity interventions.  Public health policy has mirrored these research findings and shifted towards stressing the importance of regular physical activity for optimal health and life-long habits.1,2

Four components of physical fitness (i.e., aerobic capacity, strength, body composition, and flexibility) are generally included in most health-related fitness batteries.  Of these, aerobic capacity (or VO2 max) is considered one of the hallmark characteristics of endurance performance and fitness.  Adequate aerobic capacity is associated with lower levels of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.  VO2 max, or the maximal rate of oxygen consumption, is a measure of the capacity to generate the energy required for endurance activities.  Basically, it is one of the main factors determining the ability to exercise for longer than four to five minutes and is sensitive to change over time.

The Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) has been found to be a valid measure of endurance as well as an acceptable predictor of VO2 max in children and adolescents. 3-6  The PACER is is easy at the beginning and becomes more difficult.  Students run back and forth across a 20-meter space at a specific pace that gets faster each minute.  A point is scored for each 20-meter distance covered.  More than 10,000 children in Trust-funded out-of-school programs participated in the PACER during the pilot year (2008-2009). Initial analyses indicate that youth’s PACER scores significantly improved over the course of the school year.

PACER score sheets and cadences can be downloaded from Trust Academy's Resources tab. Access Trust Academy through your Trust Central account.

The MINI Observation: Fitness Module can be found on this website's Downloadable Forms page.