Background: Childhood obesity continues to be more prevalent in the United States (US) than ever before. Youth who reside in rural areas tend to experience higher risks of obesity and overweight status, mainly due to barriers to physical activity. Even though the US federal government has mandated a daily requirement of physical activity for all school-age children, the majority of youth from rural communities tend to not achieve the recommended Health Fitness Zone (HFZ) goals.

Methods: The FITNESSGRAM is the instrument that has been used to measure and report students’ physical activity and body mass index (BMI) based on the Georgia Student Health and Physical Education Partnership (SHAPE) program recommendations. We examined BMI and aerobic activity measurements for students in 8 schools located in rural middle Georgia to determine their HFZ participation rates and achievement. The total students who participated in the aerobic capacity assessment was 1,068 (from 6 middle schools and 2 high schools) and the total who participated in the BMI assessment was 1,097 (from 5 middle schools and 2 high schools).

Results: Overall, the majority of the schools were below 50% of the recommended goals.

Conclusions: Additional initiatives are needed to address rural school compliance with federal and state policy recommendations and the low levels of physical activity among rural school-age children.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.