Measuring childrens' fitness levels has always been an imperfect science, but new recommendations from the institute of medicine may help.
A committee of experts says measuring a child's cardio-respiratory endurance, body composition and muscular strength gives the best picture of overall fitness.
They recommend using a shuttle run ... where kids sprint back and forth between two points ... to measure cardio-respiratory endurance --- or a cycle and treadmill test.
They suggest handgrip strength and the standing long jump be used to assess muscle strength ... but conclude measuring flexibility is not necessary.
The committee says calculating a child's body mass index is the easiest way to determine body composition ... including waist circumference and skinfold thickness.