General fundamental movement skill development of 4- to 6-year-old pre-school children in Flanders

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

225 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A lack of physical activity in general and among
children and youth in particular is a growing concern
noticeable in research, campaigns and programs.
Being physically inactive is highly related to negative
influences on several health related factors such as
growing prevalence of obesity, increased risks of
cardio-respiratory diseases, prevalence of diabetes
and so on. Poor physical activity participation also
threatens development of motor competence and can
result in a strong decrease or fade away of participation
in the sport and movement culture. Because of
limited (spontaneous) movement opportunities
among young children however, the fundamental
movement skills may be strongly delayed or not fully
developed. In addition, a shortage of physical activity
can have a pernicious influence on the perception of
well-being, the so-called quality of life. In this
contribution, we emphasise the development of
fundamental movement skills among pre-school
children because of the limited attention that is been
given to this subject in the story of this issue. The age
category of preschooler as well as development of
fundamental movement skills are seldom considered
in research concerning physical activity.
A clustered sample of Flemish pre-school children
(N = 1208, n boys = 654, n girls = 554) was assessed on
their fundamental movement skill development with
the MOT 4-6 test (Zimmer & Volkamer, 1987:
Motoriktest für vier-bis sechsjärige Kinder (manual).
Weinheim: Betltztest). The test features 18 test items
including fine motor movement skill and gross motor
movement skill items. The participating pre-school
children were between 4 and 6 years of age
(M¼5.18 years,+0.61). Length and weight were
measured as anthropometric variables. Data were
used to describe the developmental status of fundamental
movement skills among Flemish preschoolers.
A description of total motor composite on the
motor assessment test was provided using quartiles
for every half year age category. Non-parametric
statistics in SPSS 15.0 were used for data analysis.
Compared with the amount of pre-school children
with a higher motor quotient (6%) than the average,
there was a larger amount of pre-school children with a lower motor quotient (34.1%). There was a
significant difference in the development of fundamental
movement skills between boys (mdn = 91)
and girls (mdn = 93) (U = 165 760, P50.05,
r = 70.07). Children with normal BMI (mdn = 93)
had significantly better motor quotients than children
with higher BMI (mdn = 85) (U = 26 259.5,
P50.001, r = 70.11).
In agreement with findings of other authors, there
was a decrease in the development of fundamental
movement skills among pre-school children compared
with the normative data for the test.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of sports sciences
Volume27
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

Keywords

  • MOT 4-6

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