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FITNESSGRAM is a comprehensive educational, reporting and promotional tool used to ass­ess physical fitness and physical activity levels for children. It was first developed in 1982 by the Cooper Institute and is the most widely used children's health-related physical fitness assessment in the world.­­ The assessment includes a variety of health-related physical fitness tests that are used to determine students' overall physical fitness and suggest areas for improvement when appropriate.


FITNESSGRAM/ACTIVITYGRAM is more than just software that teachers use a few times each year, and forget about for the rest of the school year. The purpose of FITNESSGRAM is really three-fold:



FITNESSGRAM assesses the three areas of health-related fitness through a variety of test items. Many test items offer multiple options, so teachers can use the method they prefer. Each score is evaluated against the Healthy Fitness Zone® standards. Using the Healthy Fitness Zone standards helps to minimize comparisons between children and emphasize personal fitness for health rather than goals based solely on performance. Since only modest amounts of exercise are needed for obtaining health benefits, most students who participate in physical activity almost every day will be able to achieve a score that will place them in the Healthy Fitness Zone.


After testing is completed, scores are entered into the FITNESSGRAM software. With the network versions of the software, students can enter their own scores using a computer lab, or the teacher can enter the scores for all students.



With the data entered into the FITNESSGRAM software, teachers and administrators now have a powerful tool to inform students and parents, as well as make important program decisions using a variety of reporting options that can each be generated with just a few clicks.


The FITNESSGRAM report is available as a student report and a parent report. The student report recommends physical activity options to help students make it into the Healthy Fitness Zone standards for those areas where they need improvement. The parent report contains the same information on scores, but is addressed to the parents. Both reports explain in non-technical terms why physical activity is important and how regular physical activity leads to improved health and fitness. Both FITNESSGRAM reports are a tangible reminder of what students learn in class and a great way to enlist parents' support in their children's physical activity programs.


FITNESSGRAM/ACTIVITYGRAM can generate more reports at the test, class, school, district, and state level. Using these reports, teachers and administrators can evaluate the fitness program and make decisions on allocating resources, or demonstrate the value of their program. Some of the predefined report options include:


- FITNESSGRAM summary report
- FITNESSGRAM individual data sheet
- FITNESSGRAM achievement of standards
- FITNESSGRAM longitudinal tracking report
- FITNESSGRAM statistics report
- Student information report


In addition to these reports, the data used in the ACTIVITYGRAM and Activity Log modules can also be used for reporting.


At the district and state level, FITNESSGRAM data can be compared to other factors, including academic achievement and socioeconomic data, to provide administrators with the information they need to make wide reaching decisions




Both the FITNESSGRAM and ACTIVITYGRAM reports do much more than compare scores to standards. They put the test results into the broader context of what it means to be physically fit, and suggest ways that students can be more physically active and improve their level of fitness to help them reach the Healthy Fitness Zone standards for each test measure.


Plus, the process of students going through the FITNESSGRAM test and tracking their activity for ACTIVITYGRAM gives them hands-on learning experiences that reinforce what they learn in class about the components of fitness and how they relate to different body systems. Using the assessments in class equips students to self-assess their physical activity and fitness levels in the future, building a foundation for physically active and healthy adults.


FITNESSGRAM/ACTIVITYGRAM is so widely accepted that it is frequently used in research studies and included in college physical education pedagogy courses. It is also integrated into a major high school health-related fitness text, and closely coordinated with health-related fitness education program resources and training programs of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.


Ultimately, FITNESSGRAM and ACTIVITYGRAM is an educational tool that helps students learn--as part of a high quality, standards-based physical education curriculum--how it feels to become more physically fit, and how to value a physically active lifestyle.




FITNESSGRAM test items were selected to assess important aspects of a student's health related fitness, not skill or agility.




Component of
Health-related Fitness


Fitness Test



Aerobic Capacity

The ability to perform large muscle, high intensity exercise for prolonged periods.

  • 1-Mile run
  • Walk Test

Muscular Strength

The ability of the muscles to exert an external force.

  • Pull-ups
  • 90 Push-ups
  • Curl-ups
  • Trunk lift

Muscular Endurance


The ability of muscles to exert themselves repeatedly.




The range of motion available in a joint.

  • Back-Saver Sit and Reach
  • Shoulder Stretch

Body Composition

The relative percentage of muscles, fat, bone and other tissues that comprise the body.

  • BMI
  • Skinfold Measurements
  • Bioelectric Impedance Analyzers



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