The Cooper Institute

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


FitnessGram and OPEN Establish an Impactful Collaboration to Enhance Fitness Education for all Physical Educators

Dallas, TX, – FitnessGram developed by The Cooper Institute and OPEN, Online Physical Education Network launched by US Games, a subdivision of BSN SPORTS, today announced a new collaborative curriculum resource project. This resource enhances fitness education experiences for students using FitnessGram’s assessment.

Developed by The Cooper Institute in 1982, FitnessGram, a noncompetitive, health-related youth fitness assessment, utilizes evidence-based Healthy Fitness Zone® standards to measure the level of fitness needed for good overall health. Created in North Texas, FitnessGram started locally and grew to become the national youth fitness assessment as recognized by the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. For more than 35 years, FitnessGram has been helping schools evaluate and evolve their physical education curriculums into an educational experience. Today, FitnessGram is implemented in more than 20,000 schools and affects over 10 million students annually. Engaging in regular physical activity and understanding the importance of health-related fitness allows youth to exercise their mind and body, creating a stronger, healthier whole child. The Cooper Institute is at the forefront of creating a healthier generation now, and Well. Into the Future.

The collaboration between the Cooper Institute and OPEN, which is based on the public service premise that every child deserves an effective physical education, represents a renewed commitment from both organizations to help physical education teachers prepare and teach students about physical fitness and the impact of fitness assessment. In support of this mission, the two organizations will release a series of physical education curriculum resource modules on

Learn more about the launch of our partnership by checking out some OpenForum Podcast interviews live from the SHAPE America Conference!


“There is a clear and indisputable link between physical fitness and student achievement, and physical education teachers serve as the ‘tip of the spear’ in this pursuit,” said Jeremy Lyon, PhD, President of The Cooper Institute’s Youth Division. With this in mind, the collaboration we have announced today between OPEN and the Cooper Institute to create interactive and meaningful FitnessGram content for teachers and educational leaders comes at a uniquely important moment.  There is a rising tide of interest in youth fitness and health within the educational community, and FitnessGram is an essential element of a culture of health and wellness within schools. OPEN and US Games are committed to supporting physical education teachers and school leaders in their efforts to help our youth become more physically fit.”

Aaron Hart, MS Ed, Executive Director of OPEN, added, “OPEN is focused on supporting physical education teachers with rigorous, outcomes-based curriculum tools, and high-quality professional development experiences. Our work with the Cooper Institute is another opportunity to do just that. We know that fitness assessments are an essential part of a comprehensive physical education, which in turn helps students meet their intellectual, fitness, and civic potential. We’re honored to collaborate on this project with the Cooper Institute.”

The inaugural curriculum resource released on is the Intermediate Plug & Play Fitness module for grades 3 to 5. This series of fitness education activities provides teachers the flexibility to make fitness education a part of their students’ physical fitness experience year-round.  Further benefits will accrue from a student fitness portfolio that helps students analyze their FitnessGram assessment results.

Both the Cooper Institute and OPEN are committed to releasing a minimum of nine comprehensive fitness education modules into the 2018-2019 school year. These modules will be available for grades 3 to 12 with a focus on year-round fitness education as a part of a larger scope and sequence focused on developing physical literacy.

If you are interested in accessing these physical educational curriculum resources (i.e. Tools for Learning Plug & Play Fitness) and becoming a member of the OPEN community, please visit

About FitnessGram®
The Cooper Institute developed FitnessGram, the first “student fitness report card,” in an effort to improve school physical education programs and bring awareness to children’s health. It is a health-related youth fitness assessment that utilizes evidence-based standards to measure the level of fitness needed for good overall health. FitnessGram is backed by years of scientific research and the support of The Cooper Institute’s FitnessGram Scientific Advisory Board, a team of the best and brightest subject matter experts in youth health and fitness.

For more than 36 years, FitnessGram has been helping schools evaluate and evolve their physical education curriculums into an educational experience. Today, FitnessGram is implemented in 20,000 schools and affects over 10 million students annually. For more information on FitnessGram, please visit

About OPEN®
OPEN is a public service organization supported by US Games and BSN Sports. With more than 33,000 active members, OPEN delivers free, open-source curriculum resources via OPEN members download an average of 1,500 curriculum documents per day. In addition to providing online resources, OPEN also has a team of 44 OPEN National Trainers that deliver more than 150 professional development workshops and conference sessions per year, as well as community service outreach programs in underserved rural and urban school systems. For more information on OPEN, please visit

About The Cooper Institute®
The Cooper Institute, established in 1970, is a 501.c.3. nonprofit dedicated to promoting life-long health and wellness through research and education. Founded by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, the “Father of Aerobics,” the Institute translates the latest scientific findings into proactive solutions that improve population health. Key areas of focus are research, youth education, and advocacy. The Cooper Institute is home to the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, the world’s largest and longest running observational study on measured fitness, and FitnessGram, the most widely used health-related youth physical fitness assessment, education and reporting tool in the world. For more information on The Cooper Institute, please visit

About US Games and BSN Sports
US Games is the physical education division of Dallas-based BSN SPORTS. BSN Sports is the leading marketer, manufacturer and distributor of sporting goods apparel and equipment. A division of Varsity Brands, BSN SPORTS markets and distributes its products to over 100,000 institutional and team sports customers in colleges and universities, middle and high schools, and recreational programs throughout the United States via catalog, e-commerce, and direct sales. Focused on providing game changing solutions through local partnerships, multi-brand selection and one-stop shopping for equipment and uniforms, BSN SPORTS’ more than 2,000 employees have been helping elevate participation in team sports since 1972. For more information about BSN SPORTS, please visit