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TCU kinesiology students filled the main corridor of the University Recreation Center on the mornings of Oct. 18 and Oct. 20 to prepare for their practical exam.

But this exam was different: Rather than completing a test in the classroom, the students held a free cardiovascular risk assessment event to evaluate the current health of other students, faculty and staff.

Instructional laboratory coordinator Andy Kreutzer said the test is a full assessment of a person’s current health which then, based on the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines, classifies a person’s health risks. It also allows the kinesiology students to recommend whether the person should see a doctor if they want to start an exercise program, or if they should have an exercise test done.

“It is their practical exam so we use it as an evaluation – if they’ve learned the techniques and they know how to do all of this,” Kreutzer said. “And also, it’s a nice service to provide to the TCU community because everyone can come by to get their health assessed for free, you know, get some information that you might not necessarily get that easily otherwise.”

Forty-five students from the Exercise Assessment and Prescription classes participated in the assessment. The students took height and weight to calculate body mass index, measured skin folds to estimate the percent body fat, took waist and hip circumference to determine where the body is carrying the fat mass, measured blood pressure and did some risk assessment.

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Kim Taylor and Dylan Hoover prepare for their next assessment. Photo by Elizabeth Hinz.

Junior movement science major Dylan Hoover said the event helped him apply what he learned in class to real life.

“I really enjoy it more than being lectured to,” Hoover said. “We get people that come in, that don’t know anything about what we’re doing, so it helps to kind of explain and walk them through the process.”

Senior movement science major Kim Taylor agreed that the assessment was a good experience.

“It just gives us a greater chance to practice what we’ve been learning,” Taylor said. “Especially if you’re planning on doing some of this when you graduate, this is a good stepping stone.”

Junior math major Laura Meng said being assessed has made her more aware of her health.

“I think it’s important to know this stuff,” Meng said. “It’s about your health, so I mean it could be potentially dangerous if you don’t know it.”