Since it’s inception in 1981, FitnessGram by The Cooper Institute has continued to evolve to best measure student fitness levels across the country. The latest evolution can be seen in the new student reports.
FitnessGram is an assessment that measures student fitness levels. Over 10 million students across the country take this test annually and receive a detailed report evaluating their overall aerobic and physical health.
Designed to be more user-friendly and interactive, the new student reports take on more of an infographic feel with graphs that mimic the look of a sliding scale.
The new design makes it easier for students, teachers and parents to see if their child is in the healthy zone for each of the five tested categories:
- aerobic capacity
- body composition
- muscular strength
- muscular endurance
Parents reviewing the report can learn how fit their child is and see year-over-year progress in a new student-friendly design. Together, these changes allow students to better understand their FitnessGram results. With the help of parents and teachers, students can set new fitness goals to improve their overall physical health.
Improving physical fitness in children has been at the heart of our mission since the beginning.
Even the founding charter of The Cooper Institute clearly states our intent to “improve the effectiveness of physical education programs… [and] to educate, motivate and prepare school children” for a lifetime of healthy habits.
FitnessGram measures: Heart Health, Body Health, and Muscle Fitness
Back in the 1960s and 70s, only 13 percent of adults and 6 percent of children in the U.S. were obese. Now nearly 40 percent of adults and 19 percent of children are obese, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with wide variances among racial and socio-economic groups.
Even though the benefits of aerobic fitness are now well established, fewer adults and children are physical activity in their daily lives. FitnessGram by The Cooper Institute is an important tool to help reverse that trend by educating and motivating students and their families to make fitness a priority.
Educating students about the value of fitness is an important lesson that lasts a lifetime.
Obesity often begins in childhood and is linked to a host of cardiovascular risk factors, diabetes, asthma and psychological problems leading to lifelong health issues. Building healthier students now leads to a healthier workforce later.
Whole child health leads to whole child success.
That’s what makes FitnessGram an essential part of any physical education curriculum. It’s about learning what activities the student enjoys to build a lifetime of healthy habits.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
This has been the mantra for Dr. Kenneth Cooper since the beginning. FitnessGram has grown to be the leading assessment of youth physical fitness in the world. We now know, after nearly 36 years of data, that whole child health leads to whole child success.
In 2015, FitnessGram data showed that students in participating Dallas/Ft. Worth Healthy Zone Schools had higher attendance rates and reading and math scores than non-participants. In 2016, the data also showed that students in NFL Play 60 FitnessGram schools displayed annual improvements in aerobic capacity and body mass index.
That’s why FitnessGram is so important. It gives a real, unbiased look at the overall physical health of a child. There has never been a more important time to rely on irrefutable, evidence-based data than right now.