Development of the Fitness Education Index: A Scale of Organizational Level Capacity

Document Type


Publication Date



Purpose: Fitness education is essential for children’s health, but determining the effectiveness of instruction related to health-related fitness is difficult. The present study developed and confirmed the validity of a 20-item scale, adapted from the School Health Index (Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014), to evaluate the success of fitness education portion of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP) across a sample of 785 teachers. Method: The initial subset (n = 373) represented 353 schools and was used for conducting an exploratory factor analysis. The second subset (n = 412) representing 404 schools, was used to conduct the confirmatory factor analysis. Teachers self-assessed their perceived degree of implementation of fitness education (full, partial, under development, not in place) within their school (i.e., teachers helped students set fitness goals). Results: An initial exploratory factor analysis revealed that the Fitness Education Index questions clustered into six factors. A subsequent confirmatory factor analysis conducted using Mplus concluded the six-factor solution was a good fit (CFI = 0.90, TLI = 0.88, RMSEA = 0.08, SRMR = 0.06). Conclusion: This scale is a valid measure of a school’s readiness to initiate and track progress toward the full implementation of fitness education.