FITNESSGRAM is a battery of fitness tests that assess if a child's fitness level is, according to a health standard, enough to be considered healthy. These tests include the five components of health-related fitness: aerobic endurance, muscular strength and muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Students are not compared to each other, but to health fitness standards specific to their age and gender that indicate good health. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify children's perceptions of FITNESSGRAM and determine if self-administration of this fitness test provides a positive experience for the students. Specifically, this study evaluated (a) students' perceptions of FITNESSGRAM, administered in a self-testing format, (b) children's understanding of the purpose of fitness testing, and (c) what effect participation in FITNESSGRAM had on students' perceptions of their personal health. This study used questionnaires (n = 78), and follow-up individual interviews (n = 45) to identify students' perceptions of FITNESSGRAM. Results using the constant comparative method identified four main categories: (a) administration of fitness testing, (b) the purpose of fitness testing, (c) components of fitness testing, and (d) overall influence of fitness testing. Findings showed that children clearly understood the importance and role of fitness testing, felt successful and were pleased with their results, preferred doing the tests with a partner or by themselves, and thought the fitness test was fun.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences



Date Submitted


Document Type





children's perceptions, fitness testing, FITNESSGRAM, students' perceptions, self-administration, self-test, health fitness standards