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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2017 Dec;27(12):1806-1813. doi: 10.1111/sms.12789. Epub 2016 Oct 26.

Flexibility is associated with motor competence in schoolchildren.

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Research Centre for Physical Activity, Health and Leisure (CIAFEL), Faculty of Sports, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.
Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), University Institute of Maia (ISMAI), Maia, Portugal.
Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Education, Early Start Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia.
Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.
Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), School of Education of Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Bragança, Portugal.


Available data on the associations between motor competence (MC) and flexibility are limited and result inconclusive. This study aims to examine the relationship between flexibility and MC in children. The sample comprised 596 Portuguese children (47.1% girls) aged 9.7 ± 0.6 years. Motor competence was evaluated with the body coordination test, Körperkoordination Test für Kinder. Cardiorespiratory fitness (20-m shuttle run), muscular strength (curl-up and push-up tests), and flexibility (back-saver sit and reach and trunk-lift tests) were evaluated using the Fitnessgram Test Battery. Z-scores by age and gender for the physical fitness tests were constructed. Analysis of variance and regression analysis were performed. Participants in the healthy zone groups of both flexibility tests exhibited significantly better scores of MC than the participants under the healthy zone (P < 0.001). Back-saver sit and reach and trunk-lift Z-scores, either individually or as a sum, were significant predictors of MC (P < 0.05 for all) after adjustments for the other physical fitness components, age, body mass index, and socioeconomic status, in both genders. Our findings highlight the importance of promoting and developing flexibility, as well as the other health-related physical fitness components in schoolchildren to reach adequate levels of MC.


KTK ; Health-related physical fitness; back-saver sit and reach; children; motor coordination; trunk lift

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