It is a health-related, criterion-based assessment, which means it helps minimize comparisons between children and instead supports students as they pursue personal fitness goals for lifelong health. Originally developed by the Cooper Institute of Aerobic Research, FITNESSGRAM supports students in learning about and measuring components of health-related fitness: aerobic capacity, muscle strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Each score is evaluated using the Healthy Fitness Zone® standards. The FITNESSGRAM assessment, which produces reports for students and for parents, is designed specifically to work in conjunction with the Physical Best curriculum.

In 2005, the New York City Department of Education licensed the formulas and messages that were used to develop FITNESSGRAM from the Cooper Institute and Human Kinetics, publishers of the Physical Best curriculum. Via ongoing focus groups with New York City teachers, parents, medical providers, students, and physical education professionals, the Office of School Wellness Programs and the Division of Informational and Instructional Technology (DIIT) have developed NYC FITNESSGRAM, a new, web-based version of the FITNESSGRAM software designed specifically to meet the needs of New York City public school students and teachers. NYC FITNESSGRAM is the NYC DOE’s citywide fitness assessment.

The NYC FITNESSGRAM report summarizes each student’s performance on fitness assessments and suggests ways to help them to reach the “Healthy Fitness Zone” (optimal performance for better health based on their age and gender). Unlike many traditional fitness assessments, students who participate in NYC FITNESSGRAM are measured based on individual performance and personal improvement, and are not judged against each other or a standardized norm. NYC FITNESSGRAM supports teachers and students in effectively setting and managing personal and collective fitness goals. Now, more than 860,000 students citywide participate in NYC FITNESSGRAM each year. Students (grades 4-12) and all parents (K-12) receive results in a personalized report (in English or preferred high incidence language). Learn more about NYC FITNESSGRAM here. Additional information about the original FITNESSGRAM can be found on the Cooper Institute website.


NYC FITNESSGRAM information for families

NYC FITNESSGRAM information for NYC PE Teachers

FAQ’s about Fitnessgram

Here are some useful FITNESSGRAM videos:
Here are some useful NYC FITNESSGRAM documents:


Why are fitness tests important for students who are not athletes?

The FITNESSGRAM physical fitness assessment is based not on athletic ability, but on good health. No matter what your children grow up to become, they will live happier, more productive lives if they are healthy. FITNESSGRAM provides accurate and reliable information about your child’s level of physical fitness. The FITNESSGRAM test and report include a number of different assessments because fitness has multiple components. Some students may have good muscular fitness, but need improvement on aerobic fitness. By having a complete report, you and your child will learn more about their overall level of physical fitness and what you can do to improve it.