Media > News Releases > Cooper Institute Rings in 40th Anniversary of Modern Aerobics

Cooper Institute Rings in 40th Anniversary of Modern Aerobics

View All Section Pages


Interactive timeline commemorates milestone, plus Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s life and 40 years of Cooper Aerobics Center

Forty years ago, Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, founded The Cooper Institute, a 501(c)(3) globally dedicated to preventive medicine research and education—setting in motion the creation of what is today Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas. A new interactive timeline commemorates this year’s special anniversary from Dr. Cooper’s early years to the organization’s most recent milestones.
The founding of The Cooper Institute on July 6, 1970, launched Dr. Cooper’s mission of improving individuals’ quality and quantity of life. He had the foresight to base his work on research and science as a solid foundation for all that was to come.
“I had just released my first best-seller, Aerobics, in 1968 and left the military to bring aerobics to the masses. Even then, I knew that I had to separate facts from fads,” says Dr. Cooper, founder and chairman of Cooper Aerobics Center. “I’m glad I did based on all of the fads and quick fixes available today. Those come and go, but research and experience lasts.”
Six months after receiving the state charter for his nonprofit, on December 6, 1970, Dr. Cooper opened Cooper Clinic and saw his first patient in a small, two-room office in Dallas’ Preston Center.
From the first exam on, Dr. Cooper meticulously recorded health data from each exam he performed on index cards and kept them in a shoe box. Over four decades, more than 100,000 patients and data from 240,000 exams have been recorded—becoming the largest data repository of health-related fitness information in the world known as the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study (CCLS).
Based on that data, Dr. Cooper and The Cooper Institute were the first to prove that exercise was good for you—reducing all cause mortality by 58 percent and extending life between six and nine years. And have continued to shape physical activity recommendations since.
“In the ‘60s and ‘70s, preventive medicine was unheard of; physicians thought exercise would kill people; and it wasn’t lady-like for women to sweat,” Dr. Cooper reminisces. “We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go. Obesity and diabetes are major health issues for adults and children, and the costs associated with them are breaking America’s bank.”
The Next Generation’s Health
Today The Cooper Institute is making worldwide impact on the health of adults to children—taking a multifaceted approach in the fight against childhood obesity with health-related fitness and nutrition evaluations. Currently, The Cooper Institute is evaluating millions of students across American with plans to expand internationally in fall of 2010. As part of their aggressive evaluation, The Cooper Institute is establishing the National Youth Data Repository to host youth fitness, activity, and nutrition data—the world’s first database of its kind and expected size.
The BioBank
The Cooper Institute and the Center for Human Genetics at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School are collecting blood and DNA samples from Cooper Clinic patients and matched with their health information in the CCLS database. BioBank, as the project is called, allows the team to look for associations between gene patterns and biological characteristics. The research and medical outcomes of this link may change the future of modern medicine. The first genetic discovery from BioBank identified a new gene that contributes to the control of blood sugar levels, recently published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
Medicare Costs and Physical Activity
A new project is underway to study the association between physical fitness and health care costs in order to provide support for health care policies. The health and fitness data from CCLS will be merged with Medicare claims data. This merged dataset should answer questions about the contribution of fitness toward lowering health care costs and provide an opportunity to assess the link between fitness and hospitalization rates for heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.
Training the Trainers
Each year The Cooper Institute educates or certifies more than 5,000 health, fitness, business, science, school, public safety, and military leaders. With more than 25 years of experience, The Cooper Institute has touched the lives of more than 10 million people through training and education around the world. They are continuing to expand their educational offerings through the Personal Training Education Online, a weekly instructor-led education program, launching in August 2010.
Relive the History
Using photos, narrative by Dr. Cooper, and video, the interactive timeline begins in 1931 with the birth of the man who started it all through important events happening today. Some colorful stories include the publication of Aerobics in 1968, a debate with the author of The Exercise Myth, and the passage of Senate Bill 530 mandating physical fitness testing for Texas students.
The timeline also shows how Cooper Aerobics Center has flourished over the years adding Cooper Fitness Center, Cooper Wellness lifestyle modification program, Cooper Guest Lodge hotel and conference center, Cooper Spa, Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplements and Cooper Corporate Solutions wellness and benefits consultancy.
To view the timeline, click here. For more information about The Cooper Institute, visit or Cooper Aerobics Center, visit