R. Suminski, R. Blair, Laura M. Lessard
Jan 1, 2019
SAGE Open Medicine
Objectives: FitnessGram is commonly used to measure physical fitness and improve physical activity and health in youth. However, little is known about its use for informing physical activity and health promotion policy within schools and school districts, especially from the perspective of key decision-makers like principals. Therefore, this study examined physical education teachers’ and principals’ perceptions of FitnessGram use and its relationship with school and district efforts to promote physical activity. Methods: Principal and physical education teacher surveys were developed, converted to an online format, and then emailed along with a project description and instructions to all Delaware public and charter school physical education teachers (N = 183) and principals (N = 193) with a valid email. Results: Completed surveys were received from 35.5% of the teachers and 21.2% of the principals. All teachers and 95.1% of the principals reported their school used FitnessGram the past academic year. FitnessGram was significantly more likely to be used if FitnessGram results better aligned with school/district policies (r = 0.39) and were considered important in the school’s decision-making process (r = 0.53). Significantly more principals than teachers said that FitnessGram results were important in their school’s decision-making process and that FitnessGram results were used to inform policy-/decision-making. Conclusion: Use of FitnessGram was correlated with how well it related to school/district policy. Unfortunately, most of the physical education teachers and principals did not think FitnessGram was adequately integrated into the policy-/decision-making process.