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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2011 Oct;21(5):663-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01027.x. Epub 2010 Mar 11.

Motor coordination as predictor of physical activity in childhood.

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  • 1Department of Sports Science, Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), Bragança, Portugal.


This study considers relationships among motor coordination (MC), physical fitness (PF) and physical activity (PA) in children followed longitudinally from 6 to 10 years. It is hypothesized that MC is a significant and primary predictor of PA in children. Subjects were 142 girls and 143 boys. Height, weight and skinfolds; PA (Godin-Shephard questionnaire); MC (Körperkoordination Test für Kinder); and PF (five fitness items) were measured. Hierarchical linear modeling with MC and PF as predictors of PA was used. The retained model indicated that PA at baseline differed significantly between boys (48.3 MET/week) and girls (40.0 MET/week). The interaction of MC and 1 mile run/walk had a positive influence on level of PA. The general trend for a decrease in PA level across years was attenuated or amplified depending on initial level of MC. The estimated rate of decline in PA was negligible for children with higher levels of MC at 6 years, but was augmented by 2.58 and 2.47 units each year, respectively, for children with low and average levels of initial MC. In conclusion MC is an important predictor of PA in children 6-10 years of age.

© 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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