Fitnessgram® 10 Now Available
is a comprehensive educational,
reporting and promotional tool used to assess physical fitness and physical
activity levels for children. It is the most widely used children's
health-related physical fitness assessment in the world.
provides accurate assessment reports
unique to each student according to
their age, gender, and level of health-related fitness based on multiple
components rather than just a single measure. These reports use the
criterion-referenced Healthy Fitness Zone® standards, which research has shown
to accurately measure the level of physical fitness necessary for good health.
of Fitnessgram reports include
- aiding students with individual
goal-setting and teachers with program-planning
- providing communication tools for teachers,
administrators, parents and guardians,
- educating students about how to improve
their overall health, and
- providing an electronic report through
email, saving paper and secures student privacy.
software also features powerful data
management and statistical reporting tools that support data-driven
decision making. These features make it easy
to implement Fitnessgram throughout school systems of all sizes. In
addition, they measure outcomes that support curriculum goals, allowing
educators to effectively advocate for physical education programs.
The latest version of software, Fitnessgram
10, offers a valuable technological improvement--a fully
hosted solution that
removes the need to purchase servers and involve IT staff in installing the
program. Consistent with the worldwide move to hosted software, Fitnessgram 10
data is hosted on servers at The Cooper Institute (the home of FGs founders and
developers). A modest annual subscription fee provides complete hosting, full
technical support, updates, and upgrades
as they become available.
the hosted approach to software is highly beneficial to customers, it may not
meet the needs of some schools, districts, or states that want Fitnessgram 10
to be installed on their own servers. To meet this need, Fitnessgram 10 will
continue to be available in an Enterprise Version.
Activitygram / Activity Log
Activitygram component of the software is an activity assessment tool that
enables students to record their physical activity in 30-minute increments over
a three-day period. The software generates a report showing total minutes of
activity, periods of activity time each day, and type of activity.
Activity Log component allows students to track their physical activity, either
in step counts or minutes of activity for each day. Teachers can issue
challenges to students to increase their physical activity, and depending on
the version of the software used, challenges can be issued from class-to-class
or even school-to-school.
Activitygram and Activity Log support Fitnessgram by emphasizing the need for
at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
Fitnessgram Test Items
test items were selected to assess important aspects of a student's health
related fitness, not skill or agility.
ability to perform large muscle, high intensity exercise for prolonged
- 1-Mile run
- Walk Test
ability of the muscles to exert an external force.
- 90 Push-ups
- Trunk lift
ability of muscles to exert themselves repeatedly.
range of motion available in a joint.
- Back-Saver Sit and Reach
- Shoulder Stretch
relative percentage of muscles, fat, bone and other tissues that comprise the
- Skinfold Measurements
- Bioelectric Impedance Analyzers
is based on the H.E.L.P. philosophy. This philosophy teaches the value and
benefits of lifelong physical activity as well as the idea that physical
activity can and should be fun, making students more likely to become and
remain physically active throughout their lives:
it's for a
and it should be
(Note: The HELP acronym was developed by Dr.
Charles Corbin, a leading researcher in youth fitness, co-author of the
personal fitness text, Fitness for Life,
and an original member of the Fitnessgram Scientific Advisory Board.)
Healthy Fitness Zone® Standards
is unique, and widely accepted, because the fitness assessments are evaluated
using criterion-referenced standards.
The advantage of criterion-referenced standards--as compared to percentile
norms--is they are based on the levels of
fitness that research has shown to be necessary for good health. The amount
of fitness needed for health differs between boys and girls, and it varies
across age. The Fitnessgram Healthy Fitness Zone standards have been developed
to take this into account.
recognized experts on the Fitnessgram Scientific
Advisory Board evaluate research, assess best practices, and adjust the
Healthy Fitness Zone® standards, calculations, and protocols to match the best
science available. With more than 30 years of experience, this renowned board
is dedicated to ensuring that Fitnessgram
remains the best tool for using fitness assessments, reporting, data
analysis, and communication to support fitness education.
Fitnessgram program classifies fitness levels using discrete zones to allow for
more personalized feedback. The two primary zones are the Healthy Fitness Zone®
(HFZ) and the Needs Improvement (NI) Zone; however, for aerobic capacity and body
composition two distinct NI zones are used to make further distinctions in
fitness. The use of three zones makes it possible to provide more effective
prescriptive messages to youth, since the zones are based on clear differences
in potential health risks. Descriptions of the zones are provided below:
Fitness Zone. The goal in Fitnessgram is for children to achieve the
Healthy Fitness Zone on as many assessments as possible. Because only modest
amounts of activity are needed to obtain health benefits, most students who perform regular physical activity will be able to
achieve a score that will place them within
or above the Healthy Fitness Zone on most Fitnessgram test items. If
children are in the Healthy Fitness Zone they are considered to have sufficient
fitness for good health.
Improvement (NI) indicates that if the student continues to track at this
level there is the potential for
future health risks. However, this potential is possible, not probable. Increased activity as well as eating a
healthy controlled diet could delay or reverse this potential risk. Children in
the NI Zone receive messaging on their Fitnessgram reports explaining how they
should strive to move into the HFZ.
Improvement (NI) - Health Risk indicates that if the student continues to
track at this level there is a clear potential
for future health problem (a more
probable risk). The need for increased activity and eating a healthy diet
is more urgent for students in this category than those at Needs Improvement.
Children in the NI-Health Risk Zone receive messages warning them of probable
risk if they continue tracking at this level. The use of three zones allows
clear indicators of risk (NI-Health Risk) and clear indicators of good fitness
and low risk (HFZ).
body composition and aerobic capacity have particularly important influences on
health but the effects are generally considered to be independent. People who
are physically active will generally have higher levels of aerobic fitness and
lower levels of fatness. However, it is possible for youth to be overweight and still be aerobically fit or for
youth to be of normal weight and be
capacity does not directly impact body composition, but body composition is a
critical factor in the exercise performances used to estimate aerobic capacity.
Individuals who carry more body fat will often perform more poorly than if they
had less body fat. Therefore, the two dimensions are related, but still
independent. Individuals with low aerobic capacity should be encouraged to be
more active to improve their aerobic capacity (and possibly their body
composition). Individuals with unhealthy body composition are also encouraged
to be more active, but a healthy low-calorie diet is also important for
changing body composition.
composition and aerobic capacity are clearly linked, resulting in the need to
use a common health indicator--preferably one that reflects overall health--for
the Healthy Fitness Zone standards in two areas. The presence of metabolic syndrome was selected as the primary outcome
variable for determining appropriate aerobic capacity and body composition
standards since it is related to both indicators.
syndrome is characterized as a clustering of risk factors that influence risk
for diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease. The five risk factors that are
incorporated into metabolic syndrome include
- high fasting glucose,
- high waist circumference,
- high triglycerides,
- low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol,
- high blood pressure.
have demonstrated that risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome track
throughout the lifespan. Therefore, it is a good indicator of both current and
future health risk.
information on the research and development of the FITNESSGRAM standards can be
accessed at http://www.cooperinstitute.org/reference-guide.
Aerobic Capacity and Body Composition
The following information provides
additional detail on the Aerobic Capacity and Body Composition Healthy Fitness
capacity is evaluated using estimates of VO2max (also known as maximal oxygen
intake). This indicator reflects the maximum rate that the respiratory,
cardiovascular, and muscular systems can take in, transport, and use oxygen
during exercise. Good aerobic capacity (cardiorespiratory fitness) has been
shown to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease,
obesity, diabetes, the metabolic syndrome, and some forms of cancer. The
Fitnessgram program provides three field tests to assess aerobic capacity:
PACER, 1-Mile run, and the Walk test. All Aerobic Capacity HFZ scores are
reported as estimates of VO2max. Higher VO2max scores reflect a greater ability
to take in and use oxygen and a greater potential to perform endurance
the earlier Fitnessgram 8 and Fitnessgram 9 versions of the software, the
PACER, and 1-Mile Run are scored using the same equation. The equation takes
into account the child's BMI (which is calculated from height and weight).
Therefore, entry of height and weight are required in order to estimate VO2max
when these tests are used. If not, an Incomplete will be recorded.
the Fitnessgram 10 software,
estimates of VO2max from the PACER test will no longer require the availability
of height and weight information. However, the 1-Mile run and Walk test will
continue to utilize the same calculations as FG8 & FG9, which requires
height and weight. The adoption of a simplified
PACER equation in Fitnessgram 10 will make it easier for teachers to use the PACER test and interpret it for
their students. Schools will note some differences in the percentage of youth
achieving the Healthy Fitness Zone with the new PACER equation but no changes
would be evident with the use of the 1-mile run or walk tests.
composition describes what part of total body weight is fat, and what part is
fat free. Fat-free body weight includes bones and muscles. Some body fat is
needed for overall good health but too much can lead to health problems. Body
composition is one of the components used by Fitnessgram to assess
health-related fitness. Fitnessgram body composition standards are based on
percent body fat. Although an assessment of percent body fat utilizing a
bioelectric impendence device or skin-fold assessment would be ideal, practical
application in schools is very difficult. Therefore, Fitnessgram also provides
standards for a widely used alternative indicator of body composition known as
Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI is based on weight relative to height and
essentially indicates if the weight is appropriate for the height. BMI cannot
measure fat directly, but it can help assess health risks related to a body
weight that is too great or too little for the height. Fitnessgram BMI
standards for youth take into account age and gender.
Cooper Institute, developer of Fitnessgram, and the Fitnessgram Scientific
Advisory Board believe it is important to educate youth and parents about appropriate
levels of body composition. Overweight youth are at a higher risk for becoming
overweight adults. Therefore, by maintaining a healthy weight a child can
potentially reduce their future risk of health problems, including high blood
pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Very low levels
of body fat may also indicate future health risks. Remember, some fat is
necessary for good health. Body composition can be influenced by many factors,
including age, gender, and heredity.
Fitnessgram 8 and Fitnessgram 9 software, the BMI standards were set to
correspond with the established, health-related body fat standards. However,
recent analyses determined that the widely used CDC growth chart values had
similar clinical utility as the Fitnessgram BMI standards for detecting risk of
metabolic syndrome. Based on these
findings, the Fitnessgram Scientific Advisory Board decided to modify the
Fitnessgram standards so that they coincide with the CDC cut points. The
alignment of BMI standards will enable youth to receive consistent information
from Fitnessgram and the CDC/Growth Charts, which are commonly used by
pediatricians. The Fitnessgram HFZ standards now coincide with the CDC
categorization of "normal weight". The two associated Needs Improvement zones
in Fitnessgram (NI - Some Risk and NI - Health Risk) also match the respective
CDC values used to categorize youth as "overweight" and "obese". This change
will be reflected only in the Fitnessgram 10 software.
Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP)
the fall of 2012, the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP) adopted
FITNESSGRAM. The Presidential Youth Fitness Program is a voluntary program that
includes an assessment, professional development, and motivational recognition
to empower students to adopt and maintain an active lifestyle.
more information visit: www.presidentialyouthfitnessprogram.org
NFL PLAY 60 Fitnessgram Project
is provided in partnership with NFL Foundations as a part of the NFL PLAY 60
program. Since 2009, NFL Foundation (previously NFL Charities) has awarded The
Cooper Institute $4 million to support the NFL PLAY 60 campaign, an initiative
that challenges youth to be active 60 minutes a day.
grant will continue NFL Foundation's commitment to fund The Cooper Institute's
NFL PLAY 60 Fitnessgram Project, which reaches more than 22 million children in
all 50 states. In addition, the grant will support more than 1,100 schools
across all NFL team markets taking part in the Cooper Institute NFL PLAY 60 Fitnessgram
more information visit: www.NFLPLAY60FITNESSGRAM.com
1997, The Cooper Institute has been in a contractual agreement with Human
Kinetics, Inc. to conduct the business of selling, distributing, marketing, and
supporting Fitnessgram/Activitygram as a product. See History and Development for
more about Human Kinetics.
U.S. Games is proud to partner with The
Cooper Institute to provide exclusive Fitnessgram-branded equipment packs, cue
cards, and poster sets to help you successfully implement Fitnessgram.
About The Cooper Institute
in 1970 by Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, The Cooper Institute is a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit dedicated worldwide to preventive medicine research and education,
housing one of the world's largest databases on exercise and health. Each year
The Cooper Institute develops engaged learners in fitness and health with its
courses and nationally accredited Personal Trainer Certification exam. See History and Development for more about The Cooper Institute.
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