The National Football League takes youth fitness seriously. As the most popular sport in the United States, the NFL is committed to improving the health and wellness of young athletes at all levels. School-based programs like NFL PLAY 60, which encourages 60 minutes of daily physical activity, are an important part of that mission. The Cooper Institute is proud to be a partner in this journey to improve student health through the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project.
A Team Effort
As an extension of NFL PLAY 60, the project uses FitnessGram by The Cooper Institute to accurately measure the impact of these programs on key fitness markers for student health.
For over a decade, we have worked closely with the NFL Foundation and PLAY 60 partner organizations like the American Heart Association to develop a model that allows teachers to effectively implement PLAY 60 programs, specifically NFL FLAG, NFL PLAY 60 App and Virtual Experiences, and Fuel Up to Play 60.
Tackling Childhood Obesity
So far, it seems to be working. Research from the project by The Cooper Institute shows that students who participate in school-based fitness programs like NFL PLAY 60 have improved cardio fitness and healthier weight. Additional research using FitnessGram data shows that students who are more fit also have higher academic achievement.
For the 2019 – 2020 school year, school districts from 16 NFL markets will be invited to participate in the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project. Schools who participate will get an exciting incentive pack of materials, including:
- FitnessGram software (Valued at $549)
- FitnessGram Resource Pack (Valued at $140)
- NFL FLAG kit (Valued at $500)
- NFL PLAY 60 App and Virtual Experiences through the American Heart Association
- Fuel up to Play 60 Play-in-a-Box to implement a healthy eating play such as, Breakfast for Everyone — First Meal Matters, Highlight Healthy Foods — Go Nutritious!, or Farm to School —Know Your Foods (Valued at $1,000)
- In-person training session in each market to give teachers hands-on orientation and best-practices
Champions of Fitness
In addition, each NFL market has a designated Champion who provides direct support to the schools in their market. The Champions are instrumental in the successful implementation of the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project because they work within the district to help schools utilize the resources, implement PLAY 60 programs, and engage students in physical activity and healthy eating.
In the summer, the Champions are invited to an annual training summit. During the summit, Champions meet with partner organizations to learn effective project implementation, evidence-based research and impact, and network with school health leaders and Champions from around the country. The 2019 Champion Summit was hosted at The Star in Frisco, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Congratulations to all of our new NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram schools and Champions! We look forward to working with each of you this year to help students and families live Well. Into the Future.
Legacy Award Dinner
The Cooper Institute is proud to honor the NFL Foundation at this year’s Legacy Award Dinner for their outstanding work to improve youth fitness. Please join us for this very special event on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 in Dallas, TX. For tickets or sponsorships, please click here.