The Cooper Institute

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


Scientifically Valid: Exercise Makes The Difference

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Move more

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2022

In the second chapter in the book Changing the Worlds Exercise Habits: A History of Dr. Ken Cooper’s Fitness Missionaries a brief history is provided of Dr. Ken Cooper’s development of the aerobic point exercise system while in the U.S. Air Force (USAF) in the 1960s. It represented a “revolution” in terms of 1) getting people to exercise and 2) demonstrating that exercise can make significant changes to one’s overall health and well-being.

One of Dr. Coopers aims was to bridge the gap between faddism and scientific legitimacy. At that time, there were many exercise programs that did not actually work to get people fit, were not safe and did not provide the motivation to stick with exercise. Dr. Cooper applied a scientifically based research strategy based on how much oxygen one uses of a given exercise duration, intensity and frequency. Assigning an “aerobic point” for a given amount of exercise enabled people to easily follow and monitor their exercise.

In the previous blog, we noted the problem of inactivity and hypokinetic disease (diseases due to inactivity) discussed in chapter 1 of the book. Data from Dr. Coopers’ research showed that using the aerobic point system worked to increase the activity levels of Americans from 24% to 50%, reduce health-risk factors and increase overall well-being.

Dr. Cooper’s pioneering work in the USAF gave us a scientifically valid exercise system that initiated a world-wide revolution in exercise habits.

If you are interested in learning more about how helping others to be physically active and fit, based on the Cooper Institute’s research, you can order your copy of the book at Cooperaerobicscentermissionaries.comPartial of the proceeds from the book will go to The Cooper Institute.