Volume 3 – 2010

Gait characteristics of children with developmental coordination disorders: A case study


In this case study, two male children (ages 6 and 7) with and without developmental coordination disorder (DCD) walked across a GaitRITE pathway under four „walk‟ conditions (two single and two dual task conditions; simple and complex); gait variables studied included speed, cadence, step and stride length. Both groups exhibited consistent right-left symmetry in step and stride length across all „walks‟. Typical children adapted to walk conditions by holding stride length constant and varying step length; children with DCD linked stride-step length and modified them in parallel. In contrast to other studies, typical children were more variable in step-stride length than DCD children. Children with DCD linked modification of gait speed and cadence to single vs dual walk conditions; typically developing children modified speed and cadence with each change in “walk” condition. Overall children with DCD walked slower, took fewer steps with shorter strides and steps than typical children. Possible explanations for differences in gait characteristics and underlying motor system processes are discussed.

Identification of structural aspects of motor performance in children aged 7 years.


In order to identify the substance of a complex of motor abilities not only the information on specific elements is important but also on mutual relations between them and their structure. The aim of this study was to analyse and compare differences in the hierarchy of motor and physical indicators in primary school girls and boys. A group of 195 girls and 175 boys aged 7 years were subjected to 16 motor tests measuring condition and coordination abilities. Cluster analysis was applied to find out a hierarchical system of respective motor and somatic indicators. In the examined groups of girls and boys, strength, speed and endurance indicators are characterized by significant differences. On the other hand, indicators of coordination abilities show considerable identity in both groups. Girls differ from boys significantly in higher level of abilities to connect, adapt and rearrange movements. The level of body mass, height and sum of 5 skinfolds was similar in both groups. The hierarchy of somatic and motor variables slightly gender-dependent as early as the primary school age. Physical development affects condition as well as coordination performance independently on sex. On the basis of implemented research objective is possible to verify the position of coordination and condition abilities in the common motor area to the acceptable extent. This knowledge creates the base for the determination of more efficient diagnostic methods and retrospectively for development of individual motor abilities.

A Comparison of the Explosive Strength, Coordination and Speed of seven-year-old boys


The aim of the present study was to investigate the differences in the explosive strength, coordination and speed among the groups formed in 7-year old children according to their body mass index (BMI). A total of 91 children took part in the study and were divided into the following groups, according to their BMI: participants with normal body mass (n=55, height 127.40±5.13, weight 25.71±2.70, BMI ≤17.91), participants with increased body mass (n=17, height 131.88±5.17, weight 33.81±4.44, BMI ranging from 17.93 to 20.62) and obese participants (n=19, height 131.19±4.44, weight 40.25±8.30, BMI ≥20.63). Excessive weight or obesity was defined according to the recommendations of Cole et al. (2000). All of the participants were aged 7.1±4 months and attended elementary schools in the city of Nish in Serbia. In order to evaluate explosive strength, coordination and speed, three tests were utilized for each of the aforesaid abilities. The obtained data were processed using a one-way ANOVA. In the case of significant between-group differences, the Bonferroni post hoc test was utilized. The results revealed statistically significant differences among the scores of the three BMI groups in explosive strength, coordination and speed tests. The greatest one was between the group of children with normal body mass and that of obese children, a finding that was expected. .

The effect of a psychomotor training program on the motor proficiency of preschool children in a multicultural environment


The purpose of this study was to examine: a) the effect of an interventional psychomotor training program on pre-school children’s motor proficiency (MP) in a multicultural environment, and b) the MP differences among the cultural groups. The sample consisted of 145 children 4-6 years old, attending public kindergartens in Komotini, Greece. Among them, 38 were Christian natives (n=38), 36 Christian emigrants (n=36), 38 Muslim natives (n=38) and 38 were Muslim emigrants (n=34). Children were initially assessed by the Bruininks – Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-Short Form (Bruininks, 1978) and then were further separated into the experimental (EG: n=71) and the control group (CG: n=74). The children of the EG, participated in a four month psychomotor program, which took place three times a week and the duration of each training unit was 30-45 minutes. The control group carried out pre-post measurements, without having any interventional program, but only the particular exercise program followed by the kindergarten. The MANOVA with repeated measures that was applied revealed that the children of the EG, had statistically significant improvements in contrast to the children of the CG. Bonferroni post hoc comparisons revealed that the benefits in the EG were different. Christians, either locals or emigrants, were found to have statistically significant improvements, in comparison to Muslims. This might be due to cultural and ethnic differences in the backgrounds of the two groups, but further research is needed in this the specific area.

The prediction of the degree of participation of Greek adult men in exercising through the magnitude of their motivation


The aim of this study was to determine (a) the motives predicting the participation of Greek adult men in exercising and (b) biographical and demographical factors affecting them. The participants were 843 men (n=843) some of which exercised and some others did not, aged between 18 and 73 years. The Exercise Motivation Inventory-2 (EMI 2 -Markland & Ingledew, 1997) adjusted for the Greek population was used for the assessment of the exercise motives. The degree of participation in exercising, as well as the biographical characteristics of the participants were also determined. A line of statistical analyses revealed that the regular participation in exercising was anticipated only by the “Psychological” and “Interpersonal” factors. The previous experience as an official athlete was positively related to “Psychological” as well as to “Interpersonal” factors. Moreover, both exercising under the direction of a coach and exercising with beloved ones were also positively related. The results support the parallel orientation of physical education so much to sports as well as to health, with respect to the autonomy of the individuals.

Comparison of physical activity level between overweight and non-overweight adolescent girls.


For the last three years Greece holds a dominant place among European countries on youth’s obesity. Poor diet behaviour and physical inactivity are considered the key-factors for this epidemic expansion. The main purpose of this study was to examine physical activity (PA) level in overweight and non-overweight adolescent girls. Additional aims were to a) quantitatively describe the duration and intensity of PA on two weekdays and one weekend, and b) to compare PA level with the international guidelines of PA for health (Cavill, Biddle & Sallis, 2001). Forty two healthy adolescent girls living in two urban areas of Greece, aged 14 yrs (SD ±.8) participated voluntarily at the study; 22 were non-overweight (BMI 21.1, SD±1,2) and 20 were overweight or obese (BMI 27.5, SD±2,7). Their daily PA measured objectively by using the CSA 7164 accelerometer over a 4-day period (two weekdays and one weekend). For each day summary scores were calculated for: a) daily total PA, b) daily moderate PA (MPA) and c) daily vigorous PA (VPA). Compared to their non-overweight peers, overweight girls exhibited significantly lower daily accumulations of MPA and VPA for the weekdays and the weekend. A percentage of 76% of the non-overweight girls fulfilled the recommendation of the 60’min accumulated daily MVPA compared to 21% of their overweight peers. None of the participants accumulated substantial amount of VPA. These findings suggest that physical inactivity is one of the most important contributing factors to the increase of young girls’ obesity in Greece. Efforts should be made to shift the sedentary-light activity to moderate, and to increase the time of involvement on PA over weekend days, especially for the overweight girls.

The effects of Psychomotor Intervention, on Visual-Motor Control as a Graphomotor aspect in preschool age.


The aim of the current research was to study the effects of a Psychomotor Intervention Program (PIP) targeting to the improvement of spatiotemporal awareness on visual-motor control. The sample consisted of 84 preschool children, aged 53-75 months (M=66.95 months, SD=1.31) divided into experimental group (EG, n=42) and control group (CG, n=42). The CG followed the typical physical activities program of the kindergarten, while the EG aside from that program, participated in the PIP, consisted of 51 sessions. The eight items of the 7th subtest of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP-Bruininks, 1978) were used for the assessment of the visual-motor control. A two–way MANOVA model for repeated measures was used for data analysis. Results showed that after the PIP, the children of the EG significantly improved both their total visual-motor control scores and their scores in the half of items tested. On the contrary, the children of the CG did not showed significant differences between the pre- and the post-measurement scores in any item or in the total visual-motor control score. Preschool educators should take into consideration that the implementation of PIP contributes not only to the improvement of children‟s general motor proficiency but also to the development of concepts essential for the school readiness.

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