An Integrative Literature Review based on the Connecticut Physical Fitness Assessment (CPFA): History, Current Literature, and Suggested Modification

Student: Sara Isaacson*
Mentor: Valerie Wherley
Major: Exercise Science

The Connecticut Physical Fitness Assessment (CPFA) evaluates several components of fitness including aerobic capacity, flexibility, and muscular strength and endurance in children and adolescents as part of their physical education curriculum. The results of the assessment are compared to criterion-referenced standards determined by the FITNESSGRAM. After a review of the current literature, several modifications are proposed to alter the current standards so they accurately reflect the expected physiological capabilities of males and females both pre-puberty and post-puberty. It is recommended that the standards for pre-pubertal girls are more vigorous so they are closer to the pre-pubertal boy standards for both of the aerobic capacity assessments (P.A.C.E.R. and one mile walk/run). The shoulder stretch, or another assessment of flexibility, should be mandatory as an evaluation of upper body flexibility in conjunction with the back saver sit and reach. The current push up test standards need to be adjusted to accurately reflect a significant increase in strength in females until 13-14 years old, followed by a plateau post-puberty. For boys, the dramatic increase in upper body strength at the onset of puberty should to be demonstrated in the standards. Finally, the standards for the curl up test should also be more vigorous for girls and demonstrate a continual increase in abdominal strength in males. Further research is necessary to continue to make adjustments to the standards in the CPFA.

*Honors Senior