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Organization:   University of the Ozarks
Location:   Clarksville
Grant Year:   2011
Grant Amount:   $49,000
Project Description:   Critical Dosages of Physical Activity will involve 800 school children in a study to measure physical activity intensities in a normal school program versus a structured program (SPARK).


  • Students at Child Wellness Intervention Project (CWIP) schools engaged in 114 more minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week than students at the non-CWIP school (364 minutes versus 250 minutes).
  • The average number of minutes of activity at all schools exceeded the USDHHA recommended minimum of 150 minutes per week.
  • Study will determine by May 2012 what intensity of physical activity is required each day/week to achieve health benefits, as measured by the Fitnessgram Assessment Battery.

Lives Affected

218 fourth-grade students in four school districts were measured for heart rate during physical education and recess periods. (Goal was 800 students.)

Cost Effectiveness

Program will continue to use heart monitors and measure more children to produce additional longitudinal analysis.

Advice to Other Organizations Starting a Similar Program

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) process is unpredictable and time-consuming to get approval to perform research involving humans. This can consume implementation time in a grant period. It is difficult to obtain research data in public schools due to privacy concerns. At the beginning of a study, expect delays in starting, stopping, and recording physical activity sessions, due to inconsistencies in heart monitor recording and the need for troubleshooting. Using a shorter measurement period would provide the same reliability, but improve sustainability in measurement by maintaining the durability of the monitor.

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