Recently I volunteered with a large-scale research project of the University of Michigan Health System called Project Healthy Schools. PHS has enrolled hundreds of students in the Ann Arbor Public School District to participate in a long-term research study about healthy eating and physical activity. They go to various schools throughout the year to do the regular health screenings and ask the students questions about exercise, diet, and freetime activities. I got to help with one of the screenings at 0ne of the middle schools, and I was measuring the students’ weight and height. We used centimeters and kilograms, which was funny when the students asked how tall they were and how much they weighed – they gave me some funny looks when I replied in metrics!
My favorite part of the screening was watching the students participate in the heartrate screening. They had to step up and down on the step in time with a metronome. This is so the researchers know that they all were doing the same activity for the same amount of time, so they can compare “active” heartrate.