Fundamental movement skill performance in relation to sex, weight, height and physical activities in preschool children

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


Introduction As the development of fundamental movement skills is crucial to evolve a fit and healthy lifestyle, it is important to understand
the factors related to this development. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate gender differences in movement skill
competence among 4 to 6-year-old preschool boys and girls and to investigate main effects of child specific characteristics (height, BMI
and weight), past experiences (formal, informal and outdoor play activities) and socializing agents (siblings, pets) on their movement skill
performance. Methods Subjects included 846 preschool children (471 boys, 375 girls) between 4 and 6 years of age. Children's FMS
performance was assessed with the Motoriktest für Vier- bis Sechsjährige Kinder [MOT4-6]. Children's characteristics and physical activity
(PA) were measured by self-administered parental surveys. A moderated multiple regression analysis was executed to investigate
whether gender moderated the association between preschool children's movement skill performance and child individual factors.
Results There were no significant differences in general movement skill and locomotor skill between boys and girls. Girls showed significantly
better balance skill than boys (p <.01) and boys showed significantly better object control skill than girls (p <.001). Preschool children's
higher movement skill was significantly predicted by a lower BMI z-score (p <.001), by a higher height z-score (p <.001), higher
formal activity participation (p <.001), higher outdoor play (p <.01) and higher sports week participation (p <.01). Additionally, lower pet
interaction (p <.05) significantly predicted higher locomotor skill in preschool children. The children's movement competence did not
depend on the interaction between the child's gender and the entered child individual factors. Discussion This study has shown that 4 to
6-year-old preschool children's movement skill competence was positively correlated with growth, formal activities, outdoor play and
sports week participation. The study also demonstrated that heavier children are less competent. Also gender differences appeared in
children's movement skill competence. When organizing physical activities for children, it may be useful to offer different opportunities for
boys and girls.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 16th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
EditorsN. Tim Cable, Keith Georg
PublisherORIEL, Liverpool
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)978-0-9568903-0-6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventUnknown -
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …


Period1/01/11 → …

Bibliographical note

Cable,N. Tim; Georg, Keith


  • fundamental movement skills
  • early childhood
  • preschool
  • correlates


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