Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Global and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 April 2024) | Viewed by 12569

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Physical Education, College of Education, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
Interests: motor behavior; early childhood motor skill intervention; assessment; adapted physical activity/education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor Assistant
Department of Educational and Developmental Sciences, College of Education, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
Interests: developmental disabilities in children; motor behavior; motor development; motor competence

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are thrilled to invite you to contribute to a Special Issue of the journal "Children" focused on "Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children." In an era marked by the increasing prevalence of sedentary lifestyles and a decline in physical activity among children, this Special Issue aims to shed light on the critical relationship between motor competence and physical activity levels in school-aged children.

This Special Issue will provide a platform for researchers to explore various aspects of motor competence, ranging from fundamental motor skills development to the promotion of physical activity in educational settings. We encourage submissions that examine the impact of motor competence on overall health, academic performance, and psychosocial well-being in children. By fostering a deeper understanding of these inter-related factors, we hope to inform strategies and interventions that can enhance the health and well-being of our youngest generation.

We look forward to receiving your innovative contributions, which will help to shape the future of children's physical activity and motor competence research.

Prof. Dr. Ali S. Brian
Guest Editor

Dr. Emily Munn
Guest Editor Assistant

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • motor competence
  • physical activity
  • school-aged children
  • fundamental motor skills
  • health-related fitness
  • academic performance

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Published Papers (12 papers)

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14 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Physical Activity and Motor Competence of Foundation Phase Children in Wales during the School Day
by Amanda John, Nalda Wainwright, Jacqueline D. Goodway and Andy Williams
Children 2024, 11(6), 629; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11060629 - 24 May 2024
Viewed by 353
Abstract
Early childhood is a crucial time for children to develop their fundamental motor skills (FMS), serving as a foundation for engagement in lifelong physical activity (PA). With increasing concerns over the declining levels of PA and motor competence (MC), the aim of this [...] Read more.
Early childhood is a crucial time for children to develop their fundamental motor skills (FMS), serving as a foundation for engagement in lifelong physical activity (PA). With increasing concerns over the declining levels of PA and motor competence (MC), the aim of this study was to explore the predictors of PA in children in a play-based curriculum. A secondary purpose was to explore levels of PA and MC during the school day. The final aim was to explore whether there were sex differences. Children (N = 94; Mage = 68.96 months, SD = 8.25) in five classes from four different schools in Wales were tested on the TGMD-2, standing long jump, and MABC-2. Levels of PA were measured using ActiGraph GT3X-BT accelerometers, and 85 children met the wear time criteria. Object control (OC) skills, standing long jump, and age significantly predicted the percentage of time spent performing sedentary behaviours F(10,73) = 3.026, p = 0.003, R2 = 0.29 (adj R2 = 0.20) and time spent on MVPA F(10,73) = 3.597, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.33 (adj R2 = 0.24). Children spent an average of 48.7% of the school day performing sedentary behaviours and 9.1% performing moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and did not achieve 60 min of MVPA. The MABC revealed that 67% were below the 15th percentile. Girls spent more time than boys performing sedentary behaviours (p = 0.014), and boys spent more time than girls on MVPA (p = 0.004). Boys outperformed girls at OC skills (p < 0.001), while girls outperformed boys at locomotor skills (p < 0.001). These findings reinforce the pivotal role teachers and parents play in providing opportunities for children to be PA. OC skills and jump were positively associated with PA, emphasising the importance of developing FMS in early childhood. There were also sex disparities for both PA and MC, along with low levels of MC, highlighting the need for investing in comprehensive programmes and initiatives that prioritise the development of FMS during early childhood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
9 pages, 422 KiB  
Article
Associations between Motor Competence, Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour among Early School-Aged Children in the SELMA Cohort Study
by Johanna Delvert, Heléne V. Wadensjö, Carl-Gustaf Bornehag and Sverre Wikström
Children 2024, 11(6), 616; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11060616 - 21 May 2024
Viewed by 485
Abstract
Low motor competence (MC) has been associated with lower physical activity (PA) and long-term health risks in children. Less is known about sex-specific patterns and associations during early school age. The aim of this study was to explore how motor difficulties are associated [...] Read more.
Low motor competence (MC) has been associated with lower physical activity (PA) and long-term health risks in children. Less is known about sex-specific patterns and associations during early school age. The aim of this study was to explore how motor difficulties are associated with PA levels, screen time, and organised sports participation (OSP). Data from 479 children, seven years of age, participating in the Swedish Environmental, Longitudinal, Mother and child, Asthma, and allergy (SELMA) pregnancy cohort study were used. MC and activity-related outcomes were assessed with questionnaires answered by parents. Associations between MC and outcomes were evaluated using logistic regression models adjusted for sex, overweight, and parental education level. Sex differences were investigated with interaction analyses and in stratified models. Children with motor difficulties had the same level of PA as their peers, but more screen time and lower OSP. Compared with children with normal MC, boys with motor difficulties had lower rates of OSP, but girls did not. This indicates that the identification and compensatory support for motor difficulties for boys at an early age, as well as the development of inclusive leisure time activities, are of importance to facilitate health-promoting activities on equal terms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
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15 pages, 646 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Aerobic Dance Intervention on Postural Balance in Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial
by Ghada Jouira, Cristina Ioana Alexe, Khawla Zinelabidine, Haithem Rebai, George Danuț Mocanu, Adin Marian Cojocaru, Luciana Dragomir, Denis Čaušević and Sonia Sahli
Children 2024, 11(5), 573; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11050573 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 775
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the impact of an 8-week aerobic dance intervention on postural balance in children. Forty-one children, aged 9 to 11, were randomly assigned to either an aerobic dance group (ADG) or a control group (CG) from a primary school. [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the impact of an 8-week aerobic dance intervention on postural balance in children. Forty-one children, aged 9 to 11, were randomly assigned to either an aerobic dance group (ADG) or a control group (CG) from a primary school. Postural balance was assessed using center of pressure (CoP) excursions before and after the 8-week intervention period. Evaluations were conducted on both firm and foam surfaces in bipedal and unipedal stances under open-eyes (OE) and closed-eyes (CE) conditions, as well as on both medial–lateral (ML) and anterior–posterior (AP) surfaces in a bipedal stance under OE conditions. The ADG exhibited significantly decreased CoPVm values during firm bipedal CE, unipedal OE, foam bipedal OE and CE, and foam unipedal OE (p < 0.005). This study suggests that aerobic dance intervention improved postural balance in children, showcasing adaptability and improved stability under various conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
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16 pages, 603 KiB  
Article
Integrating Fundamental Movement Skills and Mathematics in Early Childhood: A Pilot Study
by Catherine M. Capio, Sum Kwing Cheung, Serena S. W. Fung and Xinyun Hu
Children 2024, 11(4), 457; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11040457 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1008
Abstract
This project involved a co-design process involving researchers and kindergarten teachers to produce learning activities that integrated fundamental movement skills (FMS) and mathematics. We piloted the co-designed activities (i.e., motor–math program) in a local kindergarten and examined the effects on FMS proficiency, mathematics [...] Read more.
This project involved a co-design process involving researchers and kindergarten teachers to produce learning activities that integrated fundamental movement skills (FMS) and mathematics. We piloted the co-designed activities (i.e., motor–math program) in a local kindergarten and examined the effects on FMS proficiency, mathematics skills, and accrued physical activity (PA). The participants comprised pupils (N = 39) from two matched kindergarten classes, in which we compared the motor–math program with typical mathematics lessons. All participants wore pedometers to measure their number of steps during class, one day per week. FMS proficiency (i.e., locomotor, object control) and mathematics skills (numeracy, geometry, math problem solving) were measured before and after implementation. Significant improvements in locomotor and object control skills were found only in the pilot group (p < 0.001); there were no differences in the changes in mathematics skills between the pilot and comparison groups. During implementation days, the participants in the pilot group accrued significantly greater step counts (p < 0.001) than those in the comparison group. Participating in the motor–math program appears to have benefits associated with improvements in FMS proficiency and accrued PA time, suggesting a promising potential for integrated activities as a means of PA promotion in kindergarten settings. Future work that examines the effects of the integration of movement with mathematics should consider randomization, greater sample size, and a longer intervention period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
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13 pages, 268 KiB  
Article
Factors Affecting Balance Performance in Adolescents
by Milena Kovačević, Rastislava Krasnik, Aleksandra Mikov, Darko Mikić, Jelena Zvekić-Svorcan, Dragana Vukliš, Dajana Dedić Novaković and Marina Đelić
Children 2024, 11(4), 436; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11040436 - 5 Apr 2024
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Abstract
(1) Background: The influence of different factors on balance in adolescence is assessed by conducting functional balance tests that examine its different components. (2) Materials and methods: The study sample comprised 110 healthy adolescents of both sexes, aged 12–18 years. Single Leg Stance [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The influence of different factors on balance in adolescence is assessed by conducting functional balance tests that examine its different components. (2) Materials and methods: The study sample comprised 110 healthy adolescents of both sexes, aged 12–18 years. Single Leg Stance with Eyes Open (SLS-EO) and Eyes Closed (SLS-EC) tests were conducted to evaluate static balance, whereas the Functional Reach Test (FRT) and Lateral Reach Test (LRT) were performed to establish functional stability limits. The influence of sex, age, demographic factors, anthropometric characteristics, participation in sports activities, and trunk extensor muscle endurance (Biering–Sorensen test) on balance performance was determined through correlational and univariate linear regression analyses. (3) Results: Older age (Beta [β] = 0.247; 95% CI [0.75, 5.20]; p < 0.01) and better trunk extensor muscle endurance (β = 0.224; 95% CI [0.015, 0.13]; p < 0.05) were significant predictors of the SLS-EO results, while younger age (β = −0.219; 95% CI [−1.32, −0.11]; p < 0.05) and higher muscle percentage (β = 0.237; 95% CI [0.06, 0.48]; p < 0.05) emerged as significant predictors of LRT performance, and greater bone mass was a significant predictor of FRT results (β = 0.444; 95% CI [3.62, 8.17]; p < 0.01). However, none of the independent variables was a statistically significant predictor of the SLS-EC results. (4) Conclusions: The current study found that age, trunk extensor muscle endurance, muscle percentage, and bone mass are significant predictors of different balance components, suggesting that balance is task-specific. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
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15 pages, 1053 KiB  
Article
Impact and Implementation of an Early Years Fundamental Motor Skills Intervention for Children 4–5 Years
by Clare M. P. Roscoe, Nicola Taylor, Natalie Weir, Robert John. Flynn and Andy Pringle
Children 2024, 11(4), 416; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11040416 - 1 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1085
Abstract
Fundamental motor skills (FMS) are the cornerstone of a child’s motor development, but concerns remain on the current level of FMS competencies, and intervention is required. This evaluation investigated if a targeted Early Years FMS intervention, delivered by a specialist physical education (PE) [...] Read more.
Fundamental motor skills (FMS) are the cornerstone of a child’s motor development, but concerns remain on the current level of FMS competencies, and intervention is required. This evaluation investigated if a targeted Early Years FMS intervention, delivered by a specialist physical education (PE) provider, improved the FMS of 4–5-year-old children across multiple sites. Methods: The Early Years FMS intervention ran for 18 weeks, 1 h/week, using a standardised programme of activities to develop FMS competencies across 219 children from 15 schools in the Midlands, UK. An adapted assessment was employed as a measure of FMS, assessing locomotor, object control, and stability skills at weeks 1, 9, and 18. The FMS were each rated as green = competent, amber = working towards, or red = not meeting the standards of the skill. A description of key programme implementation characteristics was described. Findings: Statistically significant increases in FMS competencies were achieved for 80% of participants at 18 weeks. Key implementation characteristics for the intervention included consistent staffing, a standardised programme, and a variety of pedagogical approaches delivered by specialist PE staff. Conclusion: This evaluation provided important insights into the effectiveness and implementation of the Early Years FMS intervention to improve FMS competencies in children aged 4–5 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
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14 pages, 264 KiB  
Article
Exploring Facilitators and Barriers to Physical Activity for Families of Rural Preschoolers Participating in a Motor Skill Program
by Amanda Campbell, Jill Lassiter, Michael Ertel, Andrea R. Taliaferro, Mackenzie L. Walker and Ali S. Brian
Children 2024, 11(3), 362; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11030362 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1322
Abstract
While schools provide one opportunity to encourage physical activity, caregivers play an exceedingly important role in creating an environment conducive to preschool children’s physical activity. Yet, little is known regarding the perceptions of caregivers, important choice agents for young children’s physical activity behavior [...] Read more.
While schools provide one opportunity to encourage physical activity, caregivers play an exceedingly important role in creating an environment conducive to preschool children’s physical activity. Yet, little is known regarding the perceptions of caregivers, important choice agents for young children’s physical activity behavior after participating in a motor skill program. The purpose of this study was to examine caregivers’ perceptions of facilitators and barriers to children’s physical activity at home among rural, low-income families who participated in a school-based early childhood physical activity program, SKIPping with PALS, designed to increase physical activity and improve motor development. Eleven caregivers consented to participate in a semi-structured interview regarding their perceptions of physical activity and their experience after six months of participation in the program. An inductive, naturalistic evaluation approach was utilized for qualitative data analysis, following the six recursive phases of thematic analysis. A review of the interview transcripts revealed that all caregivers valued physical activity and encouraged their children to be active. Four major facilitators, four major barriers, and an overarching theme of parental support for childhood physical activity were identified. These factors are largely circumstantial and attitudinal and, thus, are difficult to modify but are important to be cognizant of when designing interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
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11 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
Effects of Modified Invasion Games on Motor Competence and Self-Assessed Physical Condition in Elementary School Students in the Physical Education Classroom
by Diego Neira-Navarrete, Jacqueline Páez-Herrera, Tomás Reyes-Amigo, Rodrigo Yáñez-Sepúlveda, Guillermo Cortés-Roco, Cristian Oñate-Navarrete, Jorge Olivares-Arancibia and Juan Hurtado-Almonacid
Children 2024, 11(3), 337; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11030337 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1185
Abstract
Modified invasion games promote the development of real and perceived motor competence. Children with higher motor competence are more likely to participate in physical activity practice and to remain in it, both in adolescence and adulthood. (1) Background: The purpose of this study [...] Read more.
Modified invasion games promote the development of real and perceived motor competence. Children with higher motor competence are more likely to participate in physical activity practice and to remain in it, both in adolescence and adulthood. (1) Background: The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of modified invasion games on the real motor competence and self-assessment of the physical condition fifth-grade students from a private school in Viña del Mar, Chile. (2) Methods: 40 girls and boys with an average age of 11.47 years (SD = 0.554) participated in this study during a 12-week intervention. The MOBAK 5-6 battery was used to assess actual motor competence, the SEMOK questionnaire was used to determine perceived motor competence, the International Fitness Scale (IFIS) self-assessment questionnaire was used to assess perceived physical fitness, and the weight/size ratio was used to determine BMI. A Friedman’s nonparametric ANOVA analysis was applied to determine the effect of the intervention, in addition to an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to identify the influence of the covariates on motor competence. (3) Results: No statistically significant differences were established between weight, BMI, and waist circumference. There was a statistically significant difference after the intervention in the actual motor competence of object control (p = 0.005) and perceived motor competence of object control (p ≤ 0.001) (4) Conclusions: An intervention based on modified invasion games is effective for the improvement of actual and perceived motor competence of object control. It was not possible to identify a positive effect on the self-assessment of muscle strength after the intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
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12 pages, 454 KiB  
Article
Associations among Motor Competence, Physical Activity, Perceived Motor Competence, and Aerobic Fitness in 10–15-Year-Old Youth
by Dawn P. Coe, Emily M. Post, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, Jeffrey T. Fairbrother and E. Kipling Webster
Children 2024, 11(2), 260; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11020260 - 17 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1181
Abstract
(1) Background: The developmental model describes possible mechanisms that could impact the trajectory of children and adolescents’ health behaviors related to obesity; however, few data are available that support this model in the adolescent population. This study investigated the associations among motor competence [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The developmental model describes possible mechanisms that could impact the trajectory of children and adolescents’ health behaviors related to obesity; however, few data are available that support this model in the adolescent population. This study investigated the associations among motor competence (MC), moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), perceived motor competence (PMC), and aerobic fitness in children and adolescents and the mediating and moderating effects of PMC, aerobic fitness, and weight status on the MC–MVPA relationship. (2) Methods: Participants included 47 adolescents (12.2 ± 1.6 y; 55% male) who completed the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, 2nd Edition (MC), Harter’s perceived self-competency questionnaire (PMC), and the PACER test (aerobic fitness) and whose MVPA was measured via accelerometry. The body mass index (BMI) was calculated from measured height and weight. (3) Results: There were positive correlations between MC and fitness [rs(47) = 0.469, p < 0.01], PMC and fitness [rs(47) = 0.682, p < 0.01], and PMC and MC [rs(47) = 0.416, p < 0.01]. There were no associations among MVPA and MC, PMC, or fitness (p > 0.05). There were inverse associations between BMI and both MVPA [rs(44) = −0.410, p < 0.01] and fitness [rs(47) = 0.295, p < 0.05]. The association between MC and MVPA was mediated by fitness (β = 0.3984; 95% CI (0.0564–0.7985)). (4) Conclusions: The associations among MC, PMC, and fitness highlight the critical role of MC in health and partially support the proposed developmental model concerning the relationships that exist among MC, MVPA, PMC, fitness, and BMI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
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11 pages, 417 KiB  
Article
The Impact of an Acute Active Reading Intervention on Physical Activity Levels in Preschoolers: A Comparative Analysis
by Danielle D. Wadsworth and Katherine E. Spring
Children 2024, 11(2), 183; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11020183 - 2 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1022
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of an active reading intervention on physical activity (PA) levels in preschoolers. Participants were recruited from the 3–5-year-old classes at two preschools. A total of six classrooms and 37 children participated in [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of an active reading intervention on physical activity (PA) levels in preschoolers. Participants were recruited from the 3–5-year-old classes at two preschools. A total of six classrooms and 37 children participated in three conditions: an active reading book read by a researcher (Act_R) trained in active play techniques, an active reading book read by a preschool classroom teacher (Act_T), and a book about health behavior read by both the researcher and the teacher (Sed_H). The order in which classes received each condition was randomized. The Actigraph accelerometer assessed PA. Motor skills were assessed with the Peabody Motor Development Scale, 2nd Edition. Participants spent significantly more time in sedentary behavior during the Sed_H condition compared to Act_R (p < 0.000) and Act_T (p < 0.008). Participants spent significantly more time in MVPA during Act_R compared to Act_T (p = 0.030), Act_T compared to Sed_H (p < 0.001), and Act_R compared to Sed_H (p < 0.001). The amount of MVPA participation within the active reading sessions was not dependent upon the level of fundamental motor skill competence. Active reading books may provide a feasible method to incorporate physical activity and active play into the preschool day. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
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11 pages, 523 KiB  
Article
Physical Activity, Body Composition, Physical Fitness, and Body Dissatisfaction in Physical Education of Extremadura Adolescents: An Exploratory Study
by María Isabel Moreno-Díaz, Miguel Vaquero-Solís, Miguel Ángel Tapia-Serrano and Pedro Antonio Sánchez-Miguel
Children 2024, 11(1), 83; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11010083 - 10 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1133
Abstract
In recent years, physical activity levels among youths have declined significantly. This has led to a decline in adherence to physical activity recommendations. In this sense, physical education offers an ideal environment that contributes positively to improving adherence to physical activity recommendations, as [...] Read more.
In recent years, physical activity levels among youths have declined significantly. This has led to a decline in adherence to physical activity recommendations. In this sense, physical education offers an ideal environment that contributes positively to improving adherence to physical activity recommendations, as it teaches students movement-related skills and knowledge. The objective of the present research was to investigate the relationship between physical activity levels, body composition, fitness in Physical Education, and body dissatisfaction levels, and to analyse sex differences in relation to the study variables. The sample was formed of 1166 participants from the 1st and 2nd secondary compulsory education, of which 642 were boys (age 13.16 ± 0.91), and 524 girls (age 13.08 ± 0.85). The measure of physical activity was the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A). Body composition was assessed using weight and height to calculate their body mass index. Cardiorespiratory capacity was assessed using the Course-Navette test in Physical Education lessons. The results showed the relationship between physical activity and body mass index, cardiorespiratory capacity, and body satisfaction. It was also confirmed that higher levels of physical activity were associated with a lower body mass index, improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness, and lower levels of body dissatisfaction to a greater extent in boys than in girls. The study concludes that improvements in the study variables were associated with increased physical activity. In addition, it seems necessary to promote healthy lifestyles in physical education lessons, especially during adolescence, as they could serve as a gateway for the improvement of health-related fitness in future generations. Increasing the amount of physical activity among young people is vital. Therefore, it would be essential to develop intervention programs in physical education classes, especially during adolescence, aimed at promoting and increasing physical activity and its benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
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11 pages, 309 KiB  
Brief Report
Association between Gross Motor Competence and Physical Fitness in Chilean Children Aged 4 to 6 Years
by Andrés Godoy-Cumillaf, Paola Fuentes-Merino, Frano Giakoni-Ramírez, Daniel Duclos-Bastías, José Bruneau-Chávez, Diego Vergara-Ampuero and Eugenio Merellano-Navarro
Children 2024, 11(5), 561; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children11050561 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 629
Abstract
The preschool period is considered critical for the development of motor competence, but as far as we know, no studies have investigated the association between motor competence and physical fitness in Chilean children. The aim of this study was to analyse the association [...] Read more.
The preschool period is considered critical for the development of motor competence, but as far as we know, no studies have investigated the association between motor competence and physical fitness in Chilean children. The aim of this study was to analyse the association between gross motor competence and physical fitness, controlling for possible confounding factors. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 144 preschool children (56.25% girls) with an average age of 5.3 years (4 to 6 years) from the Araucanía region, Chile. Motor competence was measured using the Children’s Movement Assessment Battery, 2nd Edition (MABC-2). Regarding physical fitness, the components of cardiorespiratory fitness, lower body muscle strength and speed/agility were evaluated using the Battery to Assess FITness in PREschool (PREFIT). Partial correlation models and analysis of variance (ANCOVA) were used to assess differences in physical fitness between motor competence categories, controlling for age and body mass index. The mean fitness scores for cardiorespiratory fitness, lower body muscle strength and speed/agility components were significantly higher in children with higher gross motor competence. In terms of effect size, large values were found for the lower body strength component in model 1 for boys and in model 2 for the total samples of girls and boys. The results of this study suggest that good levels of gross motor competence are associated with better physical fitness levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
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