The Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK) PE intervention was piloted in 7 elementary schools over a 4-year period to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of having a PE specialist, trained teacher, or normal PE as defined at baseline on the amount and intensity of physical activity in elementary school children. The amount of MVPA performed under the instruction of PE specialists was highest, followed by trained teachers, and finally the controls. Recommended frequency of physical education classes was 3 days a week, typically lasting 30 minutes-15 minutes for health-fitness activities and 15 minutes for skill-fitness activities. The baseline METs was 3.3, and post-intervention METs was 7.2.
Estimates of the average METs expended on average during PE used in the estimates are from various studies: 3.4 for preschool and elementary school (Nader et al., 2003), 3.6 for middle school (McKenzie et al., 2004) and 3.7 for high school (Smith et al., in press)
On average, a school year is 180 days. The intervention assumes that the change is over the course of a school year (so if 10 minutes are added per day, it is added for 180 days). The total caloric impact is then averaged over 365 days to account for no change in activity on holidays, weekends, and summer vacation.
* The Average Caloric Impact (ACI) for this intervention is empirical, based on published estimates of METs expended, taken from trial data from McKenzie et al. (2004), Nader et al. (2003), and Smith (In Press), as listed below. The 7.2 METs for PE Specialists for the SPARK intervention is from McKenzie et al. (1997) and Sallis et al. (1997) to demonstrate the maximum potential of the intervention (compared to 5.8 METs for trained classroom teachers).
McKenzie TL, Sallis JF, Kolody B, Faucette FN. Long-Term Effects of a Physical Education Curriculum and Staff Development Program: SPARK. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 1997; 68(4):280-291.
McKenzie TL, Sallis JF, Prochaska JJ, Conway TL, Marshall SJ, Rosengard P. Evaluation of a two-year middle-school physical education intervention: M-SPAN. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. Aug 2004;36(8):1382-1388.
Nader PR, The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development Network. Frequency and Intensity of Activity of Third-Grade Children in Physical Activity. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 2003 Feb; 157:185-190.
Sallis JF, McKenzie TL, Alcaraza JE, Kolody B, Faucette N, Hovell MF. The Effects of a 2-Year Physical Education Program (SPARK) on Physical Activity and Fitness in Elementary School Students. American Journal of Public Health 1997; 87(8):1328-1334.
Smith NJ, Lounsbery MA, McKenzie TL. Physical Activity in High School Physical Education: Impact of Lesson Context and Class Gender Composition. Journal of Physical Activity & Health. In Press.