FITNESSGRAM is the most widely used tool to assess students’ health-related fitness (not sports-related skills). Designed for students in grades 4-12, FITNESSGRAM measures aerobic capacity, body composition, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. It has been adopted by the Presidential Youth Fitness Program and by schools in all 50 states. FITNESSGRAM was developed in 1982 by the Cooper Institute.

Many schools use FITNESSGRAM to:

• Tailor physical education programs to better meet students needs
• Provide helpful reports for students, parents and educators

FITNESSGRAM assessments measure five components:

Station 1: PACER Fitness Test (15 or 20 meters)
Station 2: Height (inches)
Station 3: Weight (pounds)
Station 4: Curl-Up
Station 5: Push-Up

Detailed information about FITNESSGRAM is available at http://www.cooperinstitute.org/FITNESSGRAM and http://www.FITNESSGRAM.net.

What is the Indiana FITNESSGRAM Project?

The Indiana FITNESSGRAM Project is a collective effort to allow schools to collect fitness level data on students through five specific assessments. This program – including ACTIVITYGRAM – also helps children learn and adopt lifelong healthy behaviors. Through the Project, Indiana will be one of the first states to implement a statewide hosted solution for collecting child fitness data. The effort will facilitate the creation of a statewide aggregated database that enables IDOE, schools, public health officials and health care providers, among others, to understand health trends of Indiana youth and provide appropriate services and programs in response.  

NOTE: Though students in grades K-3 don’t take the whole array of FITNESSGRAM assessments such as push-up, curl-up or the PACER run test, some schools collect height and weight for these younger students and enter it as FITNESSGRAM data. This information—either measured at school or reported by parents— gives schools and districts data to inform planning for a larger student population.

The objectives of the Indiana FITNESSGRAM Project are to:

• Provide students with an annual fitness assessment as part of their Physical Education curriculum that provides them with information to learn and adopt lifelong healthy lifestyle behaviors.
• Use FITNESSGRAM to perform annual health assessments, including aerobic capacity and body composition measurements, of students from grades 4-12 in as many schools as possible across the state.
• Enable FITNESSGRAM to be implemented by schools quickly and easily at a minimal investment.
• Create a statewide aggregated database of FITNESSGRAM® data to enable IDOE, schools and community health partners to better understand health trends and areas that need additional services or programs.

What is FITNESSGRAM® 10?

FITNESSGRAM® 10 is a Web-based version of the FITNESSGRAM software. This iteration of the Web program offers a state model in conjunction with the school assessment that serves as a data collection tool for state departments of education to gather fitness data on children. Fitness data at this level is often used in an aggregate format for comparisons of other student variables captured by states, including academic achievement, absenteeism, federal meal programs, etc.

Why did Jump IN for Healthy Kids select FITNESSGRAM as the fitness assessment tool of choice?

Because FITNESSGRAM is the national fitness test of choice and provides a health-related fitness snapshot of each child’s health, it was selected as the fitness tool for this initiative. FITNESSGRAM uses criterion-referenced standards allowing each student to be compared to what is needed for good overall health. FITNESSGRAM assesses all five components of health-related fitness and has the capabilities to provide personalized messaging through student and parent reports. It is the only assessment tool currently available with these credentials.

When did Indiana schools begin using FITNESSGRAM 10?

During the 2015-16 school year. Fourth through 12th grade students enrolled in Physical Education during the September 2015-2016 school year could have their fitness levels annually assessed and data entered into FITNESSGRAM. While the tool can be used annually, it is most impactful when a benchmark level has been established early in the school year and again at the end of the school year. Using FITNESSGRAM one time of year greatly limits the utility of the data and restricts its meaningfulness. The parents/guardians of those students tested annually received reports in the spring of 2016.

What is the cost to Indiana schools to use FITNESSGRAM?

Each participating district will pay an initial licensing fee per school for the first year of the program, with an annual renewal fee. Jump IN is currently negotiating a discounted rate for schools that implement FITNESSGRAM in the 2015-16 school year. Pricing information will be announced soon. Various sources of funding are available through local, regional, state and federal funders. See Funding your FITNESSGRAM Program.

Are all Indiana schools required to participate in the Indiana FITNESSGRAM Project?

No. Participation in the Indiana FITNESSGRAM Project is strictly voluntary and a participation commitment should ideally be made by district administration. Districts or schools interested in participating and willing to assess students in grades 4 through 12 should contact fitnessgram@jumpinhealth.org to learn more.

Can I work at home to enter FITNESSGRAM scores?

Yes, Indiana’s program is hosted on The Cooper Institute’s servers and is accessible from any computer meeting the system requirements.

When will FITNESSGRAM 10 be available for Indiana schools?

It is available now. The program was up and running during the 2015-16 school year.

I would like to get started now and purchase FITNESSGRAM 10 on my own. Will I get reimbursed by IDOE or any other party?

At this time there are no plans to reimburse schools or districts that decide to purchase the FITNESSGRAM program on their own.

I am an elementary school teacher. How do I assign students to classes?

Because student lists are preloaded into FITNESSGRAM, you do not need to add them. Once you have created classes, you will need to assign students to their respective classes.

I am a middle school teacher. How do I enter class lists into FITNESSGRAM?

Classes are already created for you and students are already assigned to those classes. All you need to do is create your FITNESSGRAM test event, enter students’ test scores, and generate the student and parent FITNESSGRAM reports.

I teach high school. How are my students assigned to classes?

Classes are already created for you and students are already assigned to those classes. All you need to do is create your FITNESSGRAM test event, enter students’ test scores, and generate the student and parent FITNESSGRAM reports.

What test items are required for participation in the Indiana FITNESSGRAM Project?

The Indiana FITNESSGRAM Project uses five tests:

Station 1: PACER Fitness Test (15 or 20 meters)
Station 2: Height (inches)
Station 3: Weight (pounds)
Station 4: Curl-Up
Station 5: Push-Up

Can I do other FITNESSGRAM tests?

Yes, you may do other FITNESSGRAM tests in addition to the five specified tests.

Which students should be assessed using FITNESSGRAM in Indiana?

For participation in the Indiana FITNESSGRAM Project, a school district must annually assess the physical fitness of students enrolled in grades 4-12.

Do we also test students with disabilities?

Students with disabilities will be tested in accordance with system and school physical education guidelines. Any student with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) should be assessed using protocol that has been modified to be consistent with that student’s IEP and needs.

My school/district has very large class sizes. What is the best way to do fitness testing?

You can divide large classes into stations and use volunteers or students to help conduct testing. There are many test items in FITNESSGRAM that students can use for self-testing and for peer testing. The videos on the DVD in the FITNESSGRAM manual illustrate how students can help with testing. All teachers will receive a manual at training. This toolkit contains several tips as well.

If students are absent on test day, have an injury, and are unable to be tested, do I still have to test them?

All absent students should be given an opportunity to participate in the assessment. Injured students will be tested in accordance with physical education guidelines for their system and school.

What is my deadline for entering FITNESSGRAM test scores?

Scores should be entered within 24 hours and sent home to the parents within 30 days of the assessment completion date. Height and weight should be entered directly into FITNESSGRAM at the time they are measured. This protects the confidentiality of this sensitive data.

Do I have to send in my year-end reports to IDOE by the end of the school year?

No. There is no need to physically send student scores to IDOE at the end of the school year, because data are stored on a Web-based platform. IDOE can access the password-protected aggregate data once you’ve entered it.

Can I export my students’ data to make my own school-level analysis?

Yes—your data will be available, for example to correlate fitness levels with academic scores. You will not need to export your data for state-level reporting—that’s automatic.

How do I get technical support?

1. First, contact online support at http://www.fitnessgram.net/help.
2. Connectivity from home: If you cannot access the FITNESSGRAM site nor any website, you need to contact your Internet provider.

My school IT staff is overworked. What do they have to do to install the program?

The FITNESSGRAM program is Web-based. There is nothing to install at the local school or district level. However, you will need an Internet connection to access the FITNESSGRAM program.


ACTIVITYGRAM® is a three-day recall that allows students to reflect on their activity over two school days and one non-school day. Using half-hour segments, students enter their activities into ACTIVITYGRAM noting the type, intensity level and duration of each activity.

What are the advantages of using ACTIVITYGRAM?

The ACTIVITYGRAM module in the FITNESSGRAM program tracks data about a child’s activity behaviors, such as the degree to which a child was active for a given period of time, the types of activities in which the child was engaged, the duration of the child’s screen time, and the total amount of time in that child spent in physical activity. The goal, of course, is not simply to get kids fit, but to get them active and to appreciate the value of being active—now and as adults. This information also helps the PE teacher further develop their approach to fitness with each student.

What schools can use ACTIVITYGRAM?

All schools participating in The FITNESSGRAM Project are encouraged to use ACTIVITYGRAM.