As the rate of obesity continues to rise in our country, people and institutions are getting desperate to be the solution instead of the cause. Recently, students at Lincoln University became vocal when many of them who are eligible to graduate next year realized that they had not taken a required course. The course which is a requirement based on your BMI (Body Mass Index) is called “Fitness For Life”. The course which encourages a healthy lifestyle is a requirement for students attending the school with a BMI of 30 or more.
Students who entered the University in 2006 and are expected to graduate in 2010 are the first to be affected by this and 16 percent of the graduating student body had not had their body mass index tested nor taken the fitness class.
I understand what the University is attempting to do and the overall vision is admirable. They are simply attempting to help this problem by doing their part.
Instead of forcing select students to take a fitness course based on their weight, there are a couple of things Lincoln University could’ve done differently to get their point across.
1) Suggest the course as an elective. By suggesting the course as an elective they are giving students the opportunity to make their own decision as opposed to feeling forced.
2) Offer extra credit. Instead of making it a requirement, give extra credit or include some type of certification.
3) Make it a competition. Instead of making “Fitness For Life” a course, make it a competition. By doing this students would feel like they had something to win to accompany their new outlook on physical fitness.
4) Require all students take the course. Singling out select students is not only unfair but can be view as showing discrimination. Instead of making students with a BMI of 30 or higher take the course, require everyone to take it so the university can make fitness a lifelong goal for everyone.