motor proficiency

A review of the relationship between physical activity and motor proficiency in children


This review examined the associations of physical activity (PA) and motor proficiency (MP) in children. The 14 selected studies contained a variety of motor ability tests and the PA measured with the use of accelerometers, pedometers and questionnaires.  These studies provided various ways of estimation of PA and MP. Gender differences appeared in many studies for MP and PA but in general findings suggest that high time spent in sedentary behavior was a predictor of low motor coordination and MP is a significant predictor of PA in children. Finally are presented the limitations of the studies with the purpose to provide more valid and accurate measures of PA and MP in the future.

Motor Skills Performance and Pedometer-Determined Physical Activity in Young Children.


This study examined the association between motor skills and pedometer-determined physical activity in a sample of preschool children. One hundred and seventeen children (61 boys, 56 girls) 5-6 years old (M=67.18 months, SD=3.802) who live in Agrinio, Aitoloakarnania Greece, volunteered to participate in the current study. A trained researcher administered the measurements for the assessment of children’s motor skills by using the Short Form of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2 (BOTMP-SF). Physical activity was assessed by OMRON HJ-720IT pedometers. Based on performance in BOTMP-SF, participants were categorized into three groups, namely, “below average”, “average”, and “above average”. The results showed a statistically significant association between motor skills performance and (Kruskal-Wallis x2=34.23, p<.001). Comparisons between motor skills categories showed significant differences in between the "below average" and "average" groups (Mann-Whitney U=50, p<.001) and between "below average" and "above average" groups (Mann-Whitney U=7, p<.001). Results showed that increased levels of children's physical activity encourage and positively affect motor development.

Participation in Sport, Body Mass Index, and Motor Proficiency in 5 to 6 Year Old Children.


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between sports participation (SP) body mass index (BMI) and motor proficiency (MP) in five to six year old children. The sample consisted of 144 children (71 boys and 73 girls) attending public kindergarten in Attici prefecture (Greece) aged 60 to 72 months (Mean=67.47months, SD=3.21). Anthropometric measures of height and weight were obtained for calculation of BMI values. For the assessment of MP, the Bruininks-Oseretsky test of motor proficiency-second edition (BOT-2) was used and parents were questioned about sport participation of the children. For the statistic analysis of the data, a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and nonparametric correlation (Spearman rho) were used. Statistically significant main effect for gender (F1.132=5.64, p<.05) was found for BOT-2 Total Point Score (TPS), with girls scoring higher than boys (MD=6.44, p<.05). Sport participation was significantly correlated with BOT-2 descriptive category (r =.191, p<.05) but not with BMI types. Consequently, even though the results revealed a tendency for sports participation to affect motor performance positively, in order for SP to affect BMI determined obesity it might need to be in conjunction with increasing regular physical activity in and out of school.

Motor proficiency, physical activity and body mass index in preschool aged children


The purpose of this study was to compare the motor proficiency and the physical activity (PA) of preschool children with different body mass index (BMI). Fifty-three preschoolers (26 boys and 27 girls), aged 4-5 years, were divided, according to their BMI, to those with: a) normal BMI, b) overweight children and c) obese children. Their motor proficiency was determined by the ‘Motorik’ Module test battery and their PA was evaluated by using the interview ‘Interviewleitfaden zur Aktivität für Kinder von 4 bis 6 Jahren’. According to the IOTF standards, the 22.6% and 9.4% of the children were categorized, as overweight and obese, accordingly and they had no statistically significant difference in their motor performance, when compared with children with normal BMI. However, the weekly participation in at least 60 min daily accumulation of physical activity, was significant lower (MD=1.80, p<.05) in obese children than normal weight peers. The results of the present study are particularly useful, for those who are involved in pre-school education, as they suggest that physical inactivity is strongly related to obesity in preschool children and notify the necessity of Physical Education in the Greek nursery school.

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