Students exercise knowledge outside classroom

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It’s never too early – or late – to start taking health seriously.

Members of the Student Exercise Science Association visited Reese High School on Friday, Oct. 24, to educate freshman about general health and conduct tests to determine levels of fitness.

Association members tested the students’ blood pressures and used their height and weight to calculate body mass index. The students also were tested for hand-grip strength and push-up and sit-up stamina.

President of the Student Exercise Science Association Nathan Peters coordinated the program after the health teacher at Reese High School contacted SVSU’s Kinesiology department about helping with the assessments.

Peters met with each student to review their test results and explain how they could make improvements.

“If someone is introduced to this early in life, that can set them up for a lifetime of better health,” Peters said.

Since each association member conducted a different test, Peters said they were able to improve their test administration skills through this practice. Members were also able to put classroom knowledge to practical use.

“For SVSU students, it will help them increase their knowledge and comfort going through the exercise science program,” Peters said.

Sabrina Jennings, exercise science senior, conducted blood pressure tests for more than 90 students. She said the experience of working with this different age group will benefit her future.

“I was originally dead set on working with college-aged students, but I think high school students would be fun to work with because they have a lot of energy and it’s an awesome population,” Jennings said.

The experience made Jennings think more critically about how she presents information to people she is helping. Since she normally works with an older population, she learned to explain information to younger students in a more appropriate way.

Peters also found it challenging to discuss topics such as obesity with a young group.

“It helped me improve my communication (skills),” Peters said.

Students were also asked about their interest in physical activities. In the spring, association members will return to Reese High School to conduct the same assessments.

“We want to see if the students were able to increase their performance, their health and also see if their physical activity enjoyment increased,” Peters said.

Jennings appreciated the opportunity to become involved in the community and encourages all students to do the same.

“Definitely get involved in any community outreach activity in your program,” Jennings said.

Peters believes this experience was beneficial for all parties involved and hopes to continue with programs such as these.

“The situation presented itself to us, but I’m definitely considering introducing it to other schools,” Peters said.