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
The newest version, FITNESSGRAM 10, is hosted on servers at the Cooper Institute, so schools no longer need to install and maintain software on their systems. FITNESSGRAM 10 uses the highest data security and encryption available and is fully compliant with FERPA and other privacy laws. Recognizing schools' concerns about data privacy, budget constraints, and limited access to IT support, the Cooper Institute and the Presidential Youth Fitness Program have produced a robust set of tools, training, and student recognition awards that schools can use to assess student health, teach healthy behaviors, and reward student progress.
About the Indiana FITNESSGRAM Project
While FITNESSGRAM is implemented at the school level, the Indiana FITNESSGRAM Project is a statewide effort that allows use of de-identified data at the school, district or statewide level. Supported by Jump IN for Healthy Kids, the Indiana State Alliance of YMCAs, NFL Play 60, and the Presidential Youth Physical Fitness Program, the Indiana FITNESSGRAM Project represents a comprehensive statewide effort to encourage participation in regular physical activity that leads to improvements in physical fitness, overall health, and academic achievement.
By helping measure and track fitness data of students in grades 4-8, the Indiana FITNESSGRAM Project supports the goal of preventing and reducing childhood obesity.
An important component of FITNESSGRAM is ACTIVITYGRAM, 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 of activity, the intensity level, and the duration. The duration of each child's screen time is also noted.
Gathering fitness test results is only one part of the overall solution to Indiana's childhood obesity. The goal, of course, is not simply to get kids fit, but to help them get active and appreciate the value of being active—both now and as adults. ACTIVITYGRAM information also helps PE teachers further develop their approach to fitness with each student.