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American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is pleased to continue the ACSM American Fitness Index ™ (AFI), a signature program created in partnership with the Wellpoint Foundation.

ACSM developed the program in 2007 to provide an evidence- and science-based measurement of the state of health and fitness at the community level throughout the U.S. Communities, organizations and individuals will be able to assess factors that contribute to health and fitness and measure the progress.

Project Goals

Improve the health, fitness and quality of life of Americans by promoting physical activity, using three key components:

  • Data Report: Collect, analyze and report on data related to healthy lifestyles and physical activity. Release the ACSM American Fitness Index Report to give a scientific, accurate snapshot of the health status at a metropolitan level.
  • Resources: Serve as a resource for communities. Promote and integrate scientific research, education and practical applications of sports medicine and exercise science.
  • Health Promotion Partners: Assist communities interested in connecting and partnering with organizations and existing programs to collaborate on physical activity/healthy lifestyle initiatives. Connect with local, state, and national partners and resources to improve the nation in becoming a more physically active society.


The pilot phase of the ACSM American Fitness Index project focused on data collectioxn and analysis for the top 15 metropolitan areas in the United States (plus Indianapolis), based on population. The latest release of the AFI data report includes the 50 largest metropolitan areas, based on population.

  • The project’s measurement index will consist of collecting, analyzing and weighting data at the metropolitan level.
  • The final outcome of the data analysis will be a report with a scorecard for each metropolitan area.
  • The ACSM American Fitness Index report will include best practice strategies and program components each community can implement with health promotion partners to improve their metropolitan area’s score.

ACSM American Fitness Index Advisory Board Operations

The ACSM American Fitness Index™ Advisory Board is a standing board separate from the ACSM Board of Trustees. It is managed by ACSM American Fitness Index™ Program Officer Brenda Chamness, with ACSM Assistant Executive Vice President Jane Senior and ACSM Executive Vice President Jim Whitehead.

We are committed to a strong link and communications between the Advisory Board and ACSM Board of Trustees, as well as existing ACSM obesity-related programs. ACSM staff will also ensure ongoing communication with ACSM membership. In response to anticipated strong interest in this topic and project, we’ll look at creating a national network of volunteers to help support the ongoing operations and promotion of the AFI.

Board Members

Chair: Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM (Georgia State University)

Vice-Chair: Barbara E. Ainsworth, Ph.D., M.P.H., FACSM (Arizona State University)

Steven N. Blair, P.E.D., FACSM (University of South Carolina)

Jacqueline Epping, M.Ed. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

John M. Jakicic, Ph.D., FACSM (University of Pittsburgh)

Liz Joy, M.D., M.P.H., FACSM (Intermountain Healthcare/University of Utah School of Medicine)

NiCole R. Keith, Ph.D., FACSM (Indiana University, Purdue University, Indianapolis)

Roseann M. Lyle, Ph.D., FACSM (Purdue University)

Melinda M. Manore, Ph.D., R.D., FACSM (Oregon State University)

Kenneth E. Powell, MD, MPH

Angela Smith, M.D., FACSM (Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children)

Stella Lucia Volpe, Ph.D., R.D., FACSM (Drexel University)