The Cooper Institute

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


Significant Scientific Efforts and Educational Achievements

The Cooper Institute has achieved worldwide recognition for its outstanding scientific research and education on physical activity and health.


Leadership in Research

Papers published by Cooper Institute scientists have been instrumental in identifying physical inactivity as an important public health problem, and in setting public health recommendations for physical activity. Research from the Institute is prominently referenced in policy and recommendation reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, American College of Sports Medicine(ACSM), World Health Organization, and numerous health agencies in countries worldwide.

Cooper Institute scientists have provided leadership for development of national public health policy statements on physical activity issued over the past decade. Quantified the role of sedentary living habits as a cause of chronic disease, risk for development of functional limitations and reduced longevity. Confirmed the inverse association of physical fitness and risk of mortality. Developed and evaluated a lifestyle approach to physical activity interventions.



Agent of Change

Influenced the development of several major initiatives on physical activity and public health in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, Surgeon General's Office, American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Heart Association.

Transformed approaches for improving youth fitness in all 50 states and several foreign countries by providing Fitnessgram, a fitness assessment and reporting software program. Expanded physical infrastructure with research facilities and laboratory equipment to enable current as well as future work.


Grant Supported

The Cooper Institute has received more than $10 million over the past decade from the National Institutes of Health to support studies of physical activity, which is more than any other single laboratory for research in this area.

FitnessGram NFL Play 60

FITNESSGRAM is provided in partnership with NFL Foundations as a part of the NFL PLAY 60 program. Since 2009, NFL Foundation (previously NFL Charities) has awarded The Cooper Institute $4 million to support the NFL PLAY 60 campaign, an initiative that challenges youth to be active 60 minutes a day.

The grant will continue NFL Foundations’ commitment to fund The Cooper Institute’s NFL PLAY 60 FITNESSGRAM® program, which reaches more than 22 million children in all 50 states. In addition, the grant will support more than 1,100 schools across all NFL team markets taking part in the Cooper Institute-NFL PLAY 60 FITNESSGRAM evaluation study.

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