tackling childhood obesity & physical inactivity

NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram

Students need daily physical activity to support healthy growth and cognitive development. NFL PLAY 60 encourages students to be physically active at least 60 minutes per day as part of the NFL’s national health and wellness campaign designed to tackle childhood obesity and inactivity.

Since NFL PLAY 60 launched in 2007, the NFL and its clubs have supported programs in over 73,000 schools and constructed more than 265 youth fitness zones nationwide—giving more than 38 million children an opportunity to boost their activity levels and improve their overall health.

The NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project

For 11 years, The Cooper Institute and the NFL Foundation have worked together as the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project to improve student fitness in thousands of schools across the country. Each of the 32 NFL teams select schools to participate in the project, which uses FitnessGram by The Cooper Institute to accurately measure and track the overall fitness levels of students.

The Cooper Institute

NFL PLAY 60 Longitudinal Study

The goal of the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project is to examine the impact of PLAY 60 initiatives (Fuel Up to Play 60, PLAY 60 App/Virtual Experiences, and NFL Flag) on health-related physical fitness. Our groundbreaking NFL PLAY 60 Longitudinal Study, published in 2015 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, uses FitnessGram to scientifically validate the effectiveness of the NFL PLAY 60 program.

The study shows that students who participate in school-based programs, like NFL PLAY 60, achieve annual improvements in aerobic fitness and body mass index when compared to schools not using NFL PLAY 60 programs. The research does more than demonstrate the effectiveness of NFL PLAY 60 programs; it also encourages wider participation to achieve greater success. We must continue to build an active school environment that supports quality physical education, recess and sports participation.

Students who participate in school-based fitness programs, like NFL PLAY 60, have:

  • Improved cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Lower body mass