NYC FITNESSGRAM 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 thePhysical 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 focus groups and ongoing conversations 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 NYCDOE’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 sex). 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 870,000 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).

Additional information about the FITNESSGRAM can be found on the Cooper Institute website. 

Review some of the NYC FITNESSGRAM frequently asked questions

Watch the Assessment Demonstration Video

The Fitness Assessment Video shows the NYC FITNESSGRAM assessments that conform to physical education standards and the recommended Physical Best curriculum.

Healthy Fitness Zone Standards

NYC FITNESSGRAM uses criterion-referenced standards, established by the Cooper Institute's Scientific Advisory Board, to evaluate fitness performance. These standards, which take into account the child's age and sex, represent a level of fitness that offers some degree of protection against diseases that may result from sedentary living.

Your Health Care Professionals

Teachers, students, parents, and healthcare providers can use these standards to help students set personal goals to improve their health-related fitness. Health care professionals should include a discussion of physical activity routines and nutrition in every meeting with children and adolescents and encourage children to participate in fitness activities tailored to a wide range of abilities and interests.