Term of Award

Summer 2007

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Jim McMillan

Committee Member 1

Starla McCollum

Committee Member 2

Jonathan Metzler

Committee Member 3

Drew Zwald

Abstract

The present study evaluated the effectiveness of the SPARK program in increasing cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness among children and adolescents. It was hypothesized that participation in the SPARK program would significantly increase fitness as measured by the FITNESSGRAM physical fitness battery. 247 children age 7-12 at the Boys and Girls Club of Bulloch County, Inc. were placed in either a treatment group that received the SPARK program twice a week or a control group that went to a study hall. Fitness assessments were performed before and after the 6-week physical activity program. Results indicated a significant increase in measures of flexibility and upper body muscular strength and endurance. Statistical significance was not found for measures of aerobic capacity, lower-body muscular strength and endurance, and body-mass-index (BMI). However meaningful changes in BMI percentiles were found, indicating a decline in risk classification with physical activity, independent of increases in fitness.

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