Schools choosing FitnessGram over Presidental Fitness Test

More public schools are using FitnessGram tests to replace the Presidential Physical Fitness test, which they say can be embarrassing for some overweight or less-fit students and does little to motivate students to choose a healthier lifestyle.

FitnessGram tests were developed in 1982 by The Cooper Institute, a nonprofit health-research center. FitnessGram tracks individual students' progress toward fitness goals rather than compare students' fitness with that of their peers -- the basis of the presidential test.

FitnessGram is a health-related fitness assessment that uses criterion-referenced standards, called Healthy Fitness Zones, to determine students' fitness levels based on what is optimal for good health.