The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


We know that active, fit kids do better, and the evidence continues to mount showing the positive effect of physical activity on the whole child. But today’s children are facing an uncertain future, one that includes the possibility of not outliving their parents.

When The Cooper Institute was founded over 47 years ago,
one of the five primary objectives included a focus on youth fitness and quality physical education. 




Initiate studies with various ages of school children in an effort to improve the effectiveness of physical education programs in an attempt to educate, motivate, and prepare school children for the inherent health problems of an affluent society.


After close to five decades, The Cooper Institute continues to be at the forefront of creating a healthier generation.
We are committed to providing teachers, administrators, students and parents with the best resources to provide quality data that helps drive decisions to improve youth health.

Powered by FitnessGram®, one of the most widely used health-related youth fitness assessment tools in the world, and amplified in the US through powerful partnership programs with the NFL and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, The Institute impacts over 10 million children each year across the country.

NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project

Since 2009, the NFL Foundation has worked with The Cooper Institute® to implement FitnessGram® in more than 1,100 schools in the 32 NFL markets, as well as develop training, resources, and tools to promote physical activity in participating schools.

This impactful project continues to produce invaluable research providing insights into effective strategies for improving youth health nationwide.

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Healthy Zone School Recognition Program

Launched in 2011, the Healthy Zone School Recognition Program is a partnership program between the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and The Institute. This vital program supports and recognizes schools in North Texas that are fighting the childhood obesity epidemic and creating healthy school environments.

Today, over 160 schools and 110,000 students in North Texas have been positively impacted.

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FitnessGram Spanish

Through a generous grant provided by Communities Foundation of Texas, The Institute launched FitnessGram Spanish, a pilot program in North Texas, which will provide the opportunity for native Spanish-speaking students to learn critically important and universal health-related fitness concepts in their native language.