No more stretching
September 27, 2012 Leave a comment
Wonkblog’s Sarah Kliff highlights the problem with sit-ups in this recent study. Personally, I’m more pleased to see them take on the tyranny of stretching and flexibility:
They find, in a 230-page report out Thursday, that as many a middle school student may have long suspected, there’s barely any evidence that most of these tests predict better health outcomes later in life.
The committee’s review of the scientific literature revealed that studies on fitness measures for youth often were not designed to answer questions related to understanding the relationships between fitness measures and health across all ages, genders, and racial/ethnic populations.
The committee came out especially strong against flexibility tests, things like attempting to touch one’s toes while sitting — the dreaded “sit and reach,” that has vexed many inflexible eighth graders. Due to a “lack of evidence for an association between flexibility tests and health outcomes,” it recommends against “including such tests” in any national guidelines for physical fitness testing.
I’ll also mention that Gretchen Reynolds’ fabulous The First 20 Minutes points out that stretching as most of us know it is pretty much counter-productive and useless.