Changes in physical fitness and sports participation among children with different levels of motor competence: a two-year longitudinal study

J. Fransen, D. Deprez, J. Pion, I. Tallir, Eva D'Hondt, R. Vaeyens, M. Lenoir, R. Philippaerts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The goal of this study was to investigate differences in physical fitness and sports participation over two years in children with relatively high, average and low motor competence. Physical fitness and gross motor coordination of 501 children between 6-10 years were measured at baseline and baseline+2 years. The sample compromised 2 age cohorts: 6.00-7.99 and 8.00-9.99 years. An age and sex-specific motor quotient at baseline testing was used to subdivide these children into low (MQ below P33), average (MQ between P33 and P66) and high (MQ above P66) motor competence groups. Measures of sports participation were obtained through a physical activity questionnaire in 278 of the same children. Repeated Measures MANCOVA and two separate ANOVAs were used to analyze differences in changes in physical fitness and measures of sports participation respectively. Children with high motor competence scored better on physical fitness tests and participated in sports more often. Since physical fitness levels between groups changed similarly over time, low motor competent children might be at risk of being less physically fit throughout their life. Furthermore, since low motor competent children participate less in sports, they have fewer opportunities of developing motor abilities and physical fitness and this may further prevent them from catching up with their peers with an average or high motor competence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Exercise Science
Volume26
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • physical fitness
  • sports participation
  • children
  • motor competence

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in physical fitness and sports participation among children with different levels of motor competence: a two-year longitudinal study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this