More than 150 members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica joined approximately 20,000 peers from more than 1,000 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country March 22 in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most people doing “jumping jacks.”

The record-breaking attempt for the exercise involving local youths from the club’s John Adams Middle School clubhouse and main branch was part of National Boys & Girls Club Week. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America initiated the effort through the organization’s Triple Play program.

The program, supported by founding sponsor, Coca-Cola, and the WellPoint Foundation, encourages kids to eat healthier, become more physically active and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships.

“We encourage our young people to live healthy, active lifestyles, because it puts them on a pathway to a great future,” said Aaron Young, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica. “By jumping their way into history, they proved that you don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership to get active and be healthy. Fitness can start with something as simple as a jumping jack.”

To break the current record, more than 278 youths needed to complete the attempt, and more than half of the jumpers needed participated at two locations in Santa Monica alone, club officials said. While the official verdict will come from Guinness in a couple of weeks, club officials said all indications are that the record has been broken.

“The WellPoint Foundation is committed to improving health in our communities and is proud to help bring the Triple Play program to Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the state,” said Lance Chrisman, executive director of the WellPoint Foundation. “By helping our kids learn healthy habits at a young age, we can give them the tools they need to live their healthiest, longest lives possible, and maybe even break some records along the way.”

Jumping jacks are called “star jumps” in some countries, because the arms, legs and head form a five-pointed star. The record sought is defined as: “the most people star jumping simultaneously at multiple venues for two consecutive minutes,” according to Guinness World Records.

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