The Cooper Institute Quarterly Newsletter - Summer 2021 Edition

Page 1

Cooper Quarterly S U M M E R


STAY HEALTHY AND PHYSICALLY ACTIVE. IN SCHOOL, AT HOME OR ANYWHERE. Despite the complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project schools assessed with FitnessGram significantly improved aerobic capacity and muscle fitness of their students.


LEGACY CELEBRATION Celebrating 90 years of life of Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, "Father of Aerobics," and the 50 years of revolutionary medically based health research he has inspired at The Cooper Institute.


Become a part of The Cooper Institute’s history by purchasing a brick today.

2 0 2 1



MESSAGE FROM THE CEO Physical inactivity and poor nutrition are major public health issues contributing to high rates of childhood obesity, cardiovascular diseases, Type II Diabetes, and cancer. Schools play a critical role in supporting children’s health by providing access to opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating. Despite the numerous benefits of healthy lifestyle behaviors, only about 25% of children and youth 6-15 years of age are meeting physical activity guideline recommendations (≥60 minutes/day of moderate to vigorous activity on ≥5 days/week). In addition, only 40% and 7% of children are consuming the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, respectively. The NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project was developed to address these health concerns by utilizing a collective impact model that integrates the NFL PLAY 60 programming designed to improve the health and well-being of the whole child. In 2019, The Cooper Institute in collaboration with NFL PLAY 60 partners (Fuel Up to Play 60, American Heart Association, and NFL FLAG) designed a structured implementation of youth programming that focuses on physical fitness, physical activity, and nutrition. The Cooper Institute has worked closely with NFL PLAY 60 partner organizations to develop a recruitment and implementation model that allows teachers to effectively carry out each of the major NFL PLAY 60 programs and measure their impact on health-related fitness and healthy behaviors through the FitnessGram assessment and project surveys. The NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project team worked closely with NFL Clubs, NFL PLAY 60 partner organizations, and regional school districts to select 10 schools per NFL market to participate in this robust project. The ultimate goal was to enroll schools from sixteen markets (160 schools) on an annual basis. The overarching goal of the project was to assist schools in providing healthy lifestyle resources and sustainable programming to their students, families, educators, and communities. During the 2019 – 2020 school year, the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project continued to reach a large number of students across the nation. Programmatic surveys revealed healthful school environment trends where an increase in school wellness committees, faculty/staff wellness


Laura F. DeFina, MD, FACP

President, CEO and Chief Science Officer

programs, and physical activity and healthy nutrition promotions was noted. In addition to surveys, teachers conducted the FitnessGram assessment in 314 schools resulting in a robust sample of ~100,000 students. Youth participating in the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project demonstrated an improvement in aerobic capacity and musculoskeletal fitness while maintaining the BMI levels of their students. Lastly, the analyses of the 2019 – 2020 data revealed that teacher-driven programming supports the existence of the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project, meaning that successful implementation of evidence-based programming begins at the teacher level. These preliminary findings are of particular importance as schools participating in the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project continued to effectively implement programming and improve the health of their students even in the face of a pandemic.



The percentage of youth achieving the Health Risk category within Project schools decreased from fall (18%) to spring (11%) semester, meaning less youth were at risk for developing cardiometabolic diseases such as Type II Diabetes.

We plan to gain a better understanding about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted schools during the 2020-21 school year. More specifically, we are collecting data to assess school environments and COVID-19 safety procedures, and plan to examine how the learning formats (in-person, virtual, and hybrid) may impact health promotion efforts in schools. By expanding the project to an additional 160 schools during the upcoming school year, the future annual evaluation analyses will examine further trends and impact of NFL PLAY 60 programming on youth physical fitness, recess/ physical activity policy, and school environment. Additionally, with a greater focus on enrollment of low socioeconomic schools, future evaluation efforts will focus on best practices for improving the health and fitness of underserved communities through evidence-based programs.




Approximately 241,000 youth across 377 schools were engaged by the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project, with 73,221 students participating in the collective impact model. The Project increased access to NFL PLAY 60 programming in economically disadvantaged youth (87% Title 1 schools), Black and Hispanic students (71%), and Urban communities (54%).





Number of Project schools promoting the recommended amounts of physical activity (60 min/day) increased from 44% to 74%.

COVID-19: School Environment and Safety Procedures Survey revealed that 92% of schools continue to require PE regardless of educational environment.

LEGACY CELEBRATION Benefitting The Cooper Institute®

Wednesday, November 3, 2021 7 p.m. | Omni Dallas Hotel Celebrating 90 Years of the Life and Legacy of Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, Founder and Chairman, Cooper Aerobics Sponsorship packages and tickets are available at 972.341.3230 |

Celebrating 50 years, The Cooper Institute is dedicated to promoting lifelong health and wellness through research and education.

87TH TEXAS LEGISLATURE SUCCESS This year, we made great strides in Texas and Oklahoma advancing policies that will have a lasting effect on the health and wellness of our youth. Our success in the 87th Texas legislative session reinforces the impact achieved on life-long health and wellness. We are excited to share our accomplishments with you!

Texas 87th Regular Legislative Session The Cooper Institute advocacy efforts have been instrumental in the implementation of public health policies such as smoke-free ordinances, strengthening physical education standards, and raising the age at which tobacco products may be purchased as well as ensuring our school lunches are healthy and nutritious.

• Preserved the physical fitness assessment requirement and funding at the Texas Education Agency. • Senate Bill 248 will require anyone selling e-cigarettes to receive a permit from the state and increases penalties for selling tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to minors. • House Bill 786 ensures that all 911 telecommunicators handling medical emergencies across Texas will be trained on providing CPR instructions to bystanders, so they can do their part in the chain of survival until first responders can arrive.


BUILDING A HEALTHIER FUTURE HEALTHCARE FOR EVERYONE For more than 50 years, The Cooper Institute has provided the science behind the philosophy that exercise is medicine and shown the world positive effects that health and fitness have on our quality of life. Through our key areas of focus: research, education and advocacy, The Cooper Institute helps people led better, longer lives now and Well. Into the Future. Your planned gift is an invaluable resource for The Cooper Institute in our mission to change the face of healthcare around the world through the power of preventive research, education and advocacy.

To join the Meyer Society or start a conversation and explore planned giving opportunities for you and your family, contact Sophia Stoller at at 972-341-3230 or

• Senate Bill 224 will improve food security by simplifying the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application process for seniors and disabled persons. • Senate Bill 199 addresses liability issues as automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) experience numerous technological advances. The legislation provides certain liability exemptions regarding the use or attempted use of, or the failure to use, of an AED and will ensure that the defibrillator is regularly inspected and maintained.

Oklahoma 1st Session of the 58th Legislature

• HB 2381 will require an annual physical fitness assessment in Oklahoma public schools grades 3-12. The proposal passed by the Oklahoma House, and now awaits consideration by the full Senate when they reconvene in February 2022. For more information contact Joel Romo, Vice President of Governmental Affairs at

The Cooper Institute is dedicated to promoting life-long health and wellness through research and education. 12330 Preston Road, Dallas, TX 75230 972-341-3200 |

Support The Cooper Institute’s mission by making a gift at:

The Cooper Institute Board of Trustees: Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH Chairman Emeritus Tedd Mitchell, MD Chairman of the Board Charles Anderson Vice Chairman of the Board Stephen D. Good Secretary of the Board

Troy Aikman Arthur M. Blank Brian O. Casey Thomas W. Codd Tyler C. Cooper, MD, MPH Susan Dell Elmer L. Doty Tony Evans, ThD

Follow The Cooper Institute:

Executive Leadership Ray L. Hunt James W. Keyes Drayton McLane, Jr. Hon. Jeanne L. Phillips Nina B. Radford, MD Steven S. Reinemund Eduardo Sanchez, MD Roger Staubach

Laura F. DeFina, MD, FACP President and Chief Executive Officer Kayla Heath Chief Financial Officer Becky Matthews Vice President of Staff

YOUTH INITIATIVES CONTINUE TO MAKE AN IMPACT IN OUR COMMUNITIES The initiatives of The Cooper Institute Youth Division all met in June to wrap up a challenging, yet successful year. The Cooper Institute and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas hosted the 2021 Healthy Zone School End of Year Banquet to recognize this year’s participating schools. Despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, 100% of Healthy Zone Schools implemented programs aimed at creating a culture of health. Champions from across the nation came together virtually to connect for the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project Champion Summit along with all partners (The Cooper Institute, Fuel up to Play 60, NFL FLAG, American Heart Association, and EVERFI) to bring back health-related knowledge and resources to their schools. The FitnessGram Advisory Board met for their Annual Retreat to discuss the most-recent scientific discoveries in youth health and ensure that FitnessGram remains the gold standard assessment of physical fitness.

Help Pave The Way – to a Healthy Future


Become a part of The Cooper Institute’s history by purchasing a brick today.


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.