Research Study Abstract

Can Physical Activity Levels in Young Children be predicted by Motor Ability and Anthropometric Measures?

  • Presented on May 31, 2013

Participating in regular physical activity has been reported to be associated with health benefits for children and adolescents. Physical activity (PA) and motor ability (MA) are interlinked and both aspects are important and essential components for everyday activities and can influence a child’s general development.

Purpose a) analyse the level of MA in 8 to 12 year old children, b) explore how anthropometric factors affected selected components of MA, c) determine whether MA components themselves and/or anthropometric measurements are useful predictors of PA levels.

Methods A cross-sectional designed study with data collected from 256 participants from 3 years groups from a school in the United Kingdom (age: 9.3±0.3 yrs, 10.3±0.3 yrs and 11.3±0.3 yrs) completed height, weight, and skinfold measurements, MA tests including a) flamingo balance test (number of step-downs in 60s), b) eye-hand coordination (number of catches in 30s), c) sit and reach (cm), d) standing vertical jump (cm), e) hand grip (N), f) sit-up (number in 30s), g) 30m dash (s), and h) figure 8 agility (s). Additionally participant’s activity was monitored continuously for four days; using accelerometer (ActiGraph GT1M).

Results Anthropometric measures and MA performances developed with increasing age. Age, gender, BF% affected MA tests performance. No significant differences in the PA levels (i.e. resting RPA, light LPA, moderate MPA, vigorous VPA and vigorous and moderate MPVA) were found between school years. None of the MA components was able to predict any of the PA levels. However, gender, age and body mass were the dominant factors for predicting PA levels (RPA, LPA, MPA, VPA and MPVA).

Conclusions Age but not school year was found to be the main predictor of most MA components which may be attributed to overlapping of ages between school years. Independence of MA components and PA levels may reflect the combined effect of a rather unchanged PA profile and age dependent MA performances in a cross sectional study design.

Presented at

ACSM 2013 Annual Meeting


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