Research Study Abstract

The Longitudinal Impact Of Motor Ability And Anthropocentric Measures On Physical Activity Levels In Children

  • Presented on May 28, 2014

Background: Physical activity (PA) and motor ability (MA) are linked and essential components for everyday life. If PA decreases there will be fewer occasions that the child can practice MA skills. This may decrease PA levels furthermore. Thus, lower levels of PA are likely to increase BMI and fatness levels with detrimental effects on health.

Purpose: Longitudinal analysis of a) MA, anthropometric measures and PA levels in 8-12 yrs children, and b) potential interrelationships between changes in MA components and/or anthropometric measurements with PA.

Methods: Height, weight, and skinfold measurements, MA tests including fl amingo balance test (FBT, number of step-downs in 60s), eye-hand coordination (EHC, number of catches in 30s), c) sit and reach (SitR, cm), standing vertical jump (SVJ, cm), hand grip (HG, N), sit-up (number in 30s), 30m dash (s), and fi gure 8 agility (F8A, s) were assessed over tracking period of one year in two groups of children (age: 9.31±0.32 yrs and 10.28±0.17yrs) representing two school-year cohorts from United Kingdom . Additionally, participant’s activity was monitored continuously using accelerometer (ActiGraph GT1M) during representative periods.

Results: Signifi cant main effects were found for tracking year in FBT, EHC, SitR, HG, SVJ, 30m dash, sit-up and F8A tests (all P < 0.05) and gender in EHC and SVJ (P < 0.05). Gender had also an effect on body fat (%), which was higher in females in both groups with respect to school years (P < 0.05). Sit-up test and body mass (r = 0.42, p < 0.05) showed the only interrelationship between the changes in motor ability tests and anthropometric measurements. Changes in height were able to explain 30.5% (p < 0.001) of the variance of the changes in moderate and vigorous physical activity level (MVPAL), yet, the inclusion of the differences of both SVJ and sit-up increased the variance of the changes in MVPAL to 49.7% (p < 0.001) and 60.6% (p < 0.001) respectively. PA levels were not affected by any of MA tests and anthropometric measures (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: All MA components measured significantly improved with time. However, tracking PA levels over one year does not illustrate any differences for either the main effect of gender or school year. This study also confirmed that 8 to 12 year old children are insufficiently active, according to current recommended health levels.

Presented at

ACSM 2014 Annual Meeting