The Iowa FitnessGram® Initiative is a participatory network of Iowa K-12 schools and University partners committed to promoting physical fitness in Iowa schools. Our goal in establishing this partnership is to help Iowa schools to enhance the promotion of physical activity and physical fitness in youth. With assistance from The Cooper Institute, we provide access and support on the effective use of FitnessGram® (the national fitness testing battery). In return, we hope to work with schools to test out new ways to enhance fitness education and youth activity promotion.
The Iowa FitnessGram® Initiative is managed by a team of faculty and staff affiliated with the Physical Activity and Health Promotion Laboratory at Iowa State University under the leadership of Dr. Greg Welk (Scientific Director of FitnessGram®). If you are interested in learning more about the Iowa FitnessGram® Initiative (or getting support from our team), please complete the quick registration form. You can also email the project director (Dr. Greg Welk) directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Active with the YAP!
Our research team has launched a new project to help schools understand sedentary behavior at school. The project capitalizes on the data from the Youth Activity Profile but focuses on helping schools to learn ways to promote activity during the school day. Click here to access the handout on the project
Try the 'Dragon Challenge'
Our research team is currently piloting a new physical literacy assessment called the Dragon Challenge. The assessment is widely used in the UK and our group conducted pilot testing with the assessment in a few schools. It is now available to other schools in the network. Visit the Dragon Challenge page for more details.
Muscle Fitness Warm-ups
Our research team developed and tested the utility of a brief musculoskeletal fitness warmup routine that could be readily incorporated into most PE lessons. The brief warmup included dynamic stretching activities followed by a series of 1 minute circuit stations that included simple strength and plyometric activities. The evaluation demonstrated meaningful gains in musculoskeletal fitness (assessed with handgrip and vertical jump) following 8 weeks of use in PE. The materials are available for schools / teachers involved in the Iowa FitnessGram network. Click here to learn more.