A Good Idea


This school-based intervention includes a physical fitness curriculum and an assessment tool. In a program of daily physical activity, students learn how to perform various exercises such as sit ups, push ups, cardiovascular endurance running, and flexibility exercises. They are also taught the importance and techniques of warming up and cooling down. Overall, the program emphasizes health-related physical fitness, not skill or agility.

Students are tested and measured in three areas: 1) aerobic capacity, 2) body composition, and 3) muscle strength, endurance and flexibility. Once the student has been assessed, they receive a report which provides personalized, objective feedback and positive reinforcement. The report serves as a communication tool between teachers, parents and students.

Goal / Mission

The goal of the program is to assist students in establishing physical activity as part of their daily lives.

Results / Accomplishments

Over 600,000 K-12 students in New York City schools participated in the FITNESSGRAM program during the school year 2007-8.

One evaluation of students in grades 4-8 showed a correlation between physical fitness and academic performance. Those students who scored in the top 5% on the FITNESSGRAM assessments outperformed the bottom 5% on standardized academic tests by an average of 36 percentile points.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Lori Rose Benson
52 Chambers Street, Rm. 209
New York, NY 10007
Health / Exercise, Nutrition, & Weight
Health / Children's Health
Education / Student Performance K-12
NYC Office of Fitness and Education (collaboration of NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and NYC Department of Education)
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
New York
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Teens, Families