a group of children playing with a ball

Youth Initiatives

Improving youth health and fitness through evidence-based programs and initiatives is a key focus at The Cooper Institute. Why? The data are clear—physically fit students perform better academically, have fewer behavioral problems and attend school more frequently. Further, numerous studies have shown that kids living a physically active lifestyle are healthier, both physically and mentally, compared to their sedentary peers. By educating, motivating and preparing students through our youth programs and initiatives today, we help create the healthy leaders of tomorrow.


of U.S. children ages 6-17 do not participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily, which is the amount recommended for this age group by the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

~14 million (19%)

of children in the United States are obese

1 in 5

adolescents are living with prediabetes, a health condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal

a boy and girl stretching

Fitness: the foundation to success

Routinely assessing student fitness levels is just as critical as academic assessments of reading ,writing and math. FitnessGram started as the "first student fitness report card" and has grown into the most widely used health-related youth fitness assessment tool in the country.

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Getting kids active 60 minutes a day

In 2009, we partnered with the NFL Foundation to create the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project. The goal of the project is to encourage kids to engage in 60 minutes of physical activity per day, increase access to healthful nutrition and improve youth fitness nationwide.

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a group of kids posing for a photo

A national campaign for youth physical fitness

The new version of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP) will assist and support teachers in assessing and promoting physical fitness in schools across the country.

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Youth Team

Andjelka Pavlovic, PhD

Andjelka Pavlovic, PhD

Jizyah Injil

Jizyah Injil

Julie Reed

Julie Reed


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