Eurofit Sports Research Institute (ESRI), based in Vienna, Austria has the mandate of impacting the health and fitness of 1 million children by 2017 growing to 10 million children by 2018.
⚬ To measure and track the physical fitness of children accurately - digital measurement of key physiological parameters that reflect overall fitness over extended period of time showing results of physical activity
⚬ To leverage state-of-the-art technologies to improve fitness of children efficiently - accountable logging of exercise sessions using personalized smartcards
⚬ To get access to certified, evidence-based physical education programs - annual review of physical education programs based on evidence gathered through comprehensive and reliable reporting
ESRI is funded through private and public research grants and in-part by member schools. Besides Europe, we are working with schools in India where there are 230 million children in 1.3 million schools and therefore Eurofit has maximum impact potential. These school children have a need for systematic measurement, tracking and development of physical fitness throughout their schooling years.
Systematically locate the hidden talent. Find and promote those who are naturally gifted in performing feats of extraordinary strength, speed and dexterity. Is the next Olympian in your school?
How strong are you?
How does your strength compare with your demographic group and what specific parameters do you need to work on.
Strong Body - Sharp Brain
Research involving study of over a million children over the last two decades has established strong correlation between physical fitness levels and academic grades of school children. Those children who had a higher level of fitness also got a higher academic score.
Any parent or teacher will demand a satisfactory answer to this question before proceeding any further. The parent may not suspect that there is likely to be anything wrong with children's fitness today. Almost all schoolchildren have physical education lessons regularly; nutrition, hygiene and medical care have improved; and we see rising standards of achievement in sport.
All these observations are true, but somewhat misleading: our lifestyle has changed dramatically in the last generations marked by a considerable reduction in the habitual activity. Physical activity is now more usually a matter of personal choice rather than a necessity even though more opportunities are available now.
Is time spent in testing justified?
Use of precious physical education time for testing further diminishes activity time available. However, testing yields a valuable information in a short period and needs to be conducted occasionally; there is a strong case for testing being a non-curriculum part as is the school dental or medical examination.
Role of the physical education teacher is that of expert adviser and organizer of the school testing program.
Tests of physical capacities are of educational value in their own right.
As a doctor will make his diagnosis before commencing treatment, the prescription of exercise to ensure optimum physical development of children should be preceded by measures of present status and assessment of needs.
Origin of the Eurofit Standard
In 1983 the Council of Europe developed the Eurofit standard battery of exercises for precise measurement of physical fitness that are detailed in the Eurofit Handbook. These set of tests are simple and relatively inexpensive. They are typically administered by physical education teachers as part of the regular school physical education program. The key parameters measured are:
1. Core strength
2. Lower body strength
The principal objectives of Eurofit set by the Sports Research Experts are:
⚬ The need to have a commonly agreed test battery
⚬ To help in assessing the effectiveness of physical education in schools
⚬ To help in measuring the health-related fitness of school children
Evolving needs of schools
With changing social and economic conditions schools placed additional boundary conditions on physical education in schools:
⚬ Ability to conduct tests in variable infrastructural and weather constraints The results of Eurofit testing must be independent of whether the testing is conducted indoors or outdoors.
⚬ Reliably managing data that has been collected manually for a large number of children in schools is challenging using traditional pen and paper. Inaccuracies result due to human errors in taking readings; delayed or missing start stop times; inability to repeat certain tests.
⚬ Trained team of fitness professionals is required for conducting tests correctly and in a reasonable period of time. The testing must not reduce the total time available for physical education significantly.
⚬ Use of manpower and test equipment form the key elements of cost of conducing and reporting results.
⚬ Progressive comparative reporting is needed that shows performance of the subject on each fitness parameter individually and in comparison with the school cohort and changes in fitness over a period time.
Advanced Eurofit System
ESRI’s Advanced Eurofit System uses latest research in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) for generating digital data at source; transmitting it in real-time through specialized IoT (Internet of Things) electronic devices; processing data using cloud computing and automated provision of reports securely over the Internet.
The report contains individual performance and comparison with other children showing relative fitness levels for each measured parameters.
Each child in the Eurofit program is issued a personalized smartcard which is used to log into the Eurofit devices at the time of assessment and for accessing reports online.
Eurofit exercises that help in improvement are communicated to the children in workshops with ESRI experts and through the physical education teachers in school. These exercises are also done at home. The Eurofit smartcard is used to log the date and time of when the exercises were done.
Eurofit devices are provided to schools for the duration of assessment (typically 2-4 weeks depending on the number of students assessed). A single person can measure several children simultaneously. A nominal annual fee is charged for the Eurofit program. EW (Economically Weak) students are assessed for free.
We work with schools based on their infrastructure, policies of imparting holistic education and staff available to implement these policies. The testing is done twice a year at a space of 4 to 7 months.
The test process inherently eliminates any observation bias or error by the test administrator is eliminated as the data is gathered completely using specialized electronic devices. The collected data is compared to the cohort database ensuring appropriate age and gender grouping. Each of the parameters is individually matched against the database records.
A Eurofit Report Card for each child collating data from previous tests. Individual recommendations are made to the top 2 percentile and the bottom 5 percentile.
Mike Muegge - Director
Extensive experience in business development, financing and building organizations
Puneet Teja - Director
Technology expert with specialization in product development, holds patents in diverse fields
Martina Mückler - Child Development
Over 25 years experience in working with children, Authentic Movement, Hatha Yoga instructor
Perizad Tata - Operations Head
Professional expertise in setting up large, complex operational networks for multi-national corporations
Marco Ebenbichler - Fitness Professional
Austrian swimming champion, certified fitness trainer, personalized exercise design
Vikas Sawant - Advisor
Fitness expert, certified Crossfit trainer, high intensity interval training and strength training
Ilse Retschitzegger - Osteopath
Osteopathy professional with specialization in working with children and young adults
Karin Mügge - Sport Physiotherapist
Expert in treating sportspersons and specialized in improving physical fitness through fascial treatment
Puneet Vatsayan - Advisor
Serial entrepreneur with ventures in the USA and India, financing and business network professional
The Advanced Eurofit System has been developed in research collaboration with international engineering and research institutes. The initial concept and design was done in collaboration with the Institute of Applied Physics at the Technical University of Vienna. The selection of sensors, their suitability for the application in fitness testing and their comparative study was undertaken with the Department of Biomedical, Health & Sports Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences, Vienna. Development of algorithms for signal processing and movement detection was done with the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India.
For the quality of project, its larger social impact and promotion of local as well as global fitness ecosystems, the project was awarded the "Seal of Excellence" by the European Commission.