Fitnessgram Program Overview
Fitnessgram is a fitness assessment and reporting program for youth, first developed in 1982 by The Cooper Institute in response to the need for a comprehensive set of assessment procedures in physical education programs. The assessment includes a variety of health-related physical fitness tests that assess aerobic capacity; muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility; and body composition. Scores from these assessments are compared to Healthy Fitness Zone® standards to determine students’ overall physical fitness and suggest areas for improvement when appropriate.
The Healthy Fitness Zone standards are not based on class averages or any other peer comparisons. They are criterion-referenced standards that are based on levels of fitness needed for good health. The standards are set specifically for boys and girls of various ages using the best available research. The Healthy Fitness Zone standards were established by the Fitnessgram Scientific Advisory Board, which includes some of the foremost scientists and practitioners in fitness and physical activity.
Fitnessgram/Activitygram is software published by Human Kinetics. The software provides an efficient way for schools and other organizations to perform effective fitness and physical activity assessments on children, provide appropriate feedback to children and parents, and maintain accurate and comprehensive records over time.
A key feature of the Fitnessgram software is its ability to generate printed reports for each student (a parent version of the report can be generated, too). The Fitnessgram report defines the recommended range of fitness for each test measure—the Healthy Fitness Zone. When a child’s score falls within the Healthy Fitness Zone, it means the child has achieved a level of fitness associated with being healthy. Teachers and administrators can also generate more advanced statistical reports on the health and fitness of all their students.
The Fitnessgram report provides information about the student’s level of physical fitness in an easy-to-read format. More important, the report provides personalized suggestions that can help in planning an individualized fitness plan.
Activitygram and Activity Log
The Activitygram component of the software is an activity assessment tool that enables students to record their physical activity in 30-minute increments over a 3-day period. The software generates a report showing total minutes of activity, periods of activity time each day, and types of activity.
The 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.
Both Activitygram and Activity Log support Fitnessgram by emphasizing the need for at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
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 is a team effort. It requires participation of teachers, administrators, and technology staff. The benefits are immense—Fitnessgram can help a physical education program define its goals and bring everyone on board with those common goals.