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Presidential Youth Fitness Program

presidential youth fitness program
Presidential Youth Fitness Program is a comprehensive school-based program that promotes health and regular physical activity for America’s youth. This is a voluntary program that offers educators free access to a health-related assessment for youth fitness, professional development for meaningful implementation, and motivational recognition to empower students to adopt and maintain an active lifestyle.

Activity Highlights

Physical activity is critical to our children’s health and well-being. Studies show that physical activity not only helps kids stay active and healthy, but it can enhance important skills like concentration and problem solving, which can improve academic performance.

Since 1966, the President’s Council has promoted the Youth Fitness Test. While the Fitness Test has changed over the years, the current test continues to assess physical fitness using data from the 1985 National School Population Fitness Survey. The President’s Council teamed up with leaders in the field to evolve the current test to a comprehensive program that provides training and resources to schools for assessing, tracking, and recognizing youth fitness. The new program has moved away from recognizing athletic performance to providing a barometer on student’s health.

Key to the success of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program is the expertise and resources provided by partnering organizations, which include:

  • Adoption of The Cooper Institute’s fitness assessment, FITNESSGRAM®.
  • Professional development, such as monthly webinars, led by SHAPE America, a leading organization of professionals involved in physical education.
  • The expertise of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lead the development of a plan to track and evaluate the Presidential Youth Fitness Program.

The Presidential Youth Fitness Program places emphasis on the value of living a physically active and healthy lifestyle—in school and beyond. The program minimizes comparisons between children and instead supports students as they pursue personal fitness goals for lifelong health. By adopting the program, schools gain access to a robust selection of resources to promote lifelong physical activity: Web-based access to test protocol, standards for testing, calculators for aerobic capacity and body composition, promotion of PALA+, online training, school recognition programs, and more.

Everyone has a role to play in ensuring a bright and healthy future for our children. Discover how the Presidential Youth Fitness Program will support children in a journey toward lifelong fitness.


Presidential Youth Fitness Program Teaching Tools
Whether you’re an educator preparing to implement Presidential Youth Fitness Program, or a parent looking to support your children in a journey toward lifelong fitness, the Presidential Youth Fitness Program website offers resources to support you, including FAQs and additional details on FITNESSGRAM®.

Physical Educator Resource Guide
A resource for physical educators to learn the ins and outs of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program philosophy, specific test items, scoring, and more.

The Parent Resource Guide
A resource for parents with additional information on the components of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, as well as tips on how to create an active lifestyle for your family.

Making the Case for PYFP: Executive Summary
Making the Case for PYFP: Full Document

Content created by President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition
Content last reviewed on January 26, 2017
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