The Cooper Institute

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


We know that active, fit kids do better in the classroom and on the field. The evidence continues to mount showing the positive effect of physical activity on the whole child. However, today’s children face an uncertain future - one that includes the possibility of not outliving their parents.

Youth fitness and quality physical education has been a primary focus of The Cooper Institute for 50 years. 




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.


The Cooper Institute continues to be at the forefront of creating a healthier generation now and #WELLintothefuture.
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.

FitnessGram by The Cooper Institute is the most widely used health-related youth fitness assessment tool in the world. Thanks to powerful partnership programs with the NFL and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, our programs help over 10 million children each year learn how to make healthier choices.

NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project

Since 2009, the NFL Foundation has used FitnessGram by The Cooper Institute 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.

Research conducted by The Cooper Institute proves that students who participate in school-based fitness programs, like NFL PLAY 60, have improved aerobic fitness and healthier body weight. 

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 Cooper 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 learned how to live in the Healthy Zone.

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FitnessGram Spanish

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