ArticlePublisher preview available
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract and Figures

The present study aimed at examining differences in motor competence (MC) in children aged 6 to 9 years old in northern, central, and southern European regions using the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder (KTK). The secondary aim of the study was to examine interactions between region and children’s age, sex and weight status (determined as healthy weight or overweight/obese). Data was pooled from independent studies conducted in Finland (mean age 7.81 ± 1.19 years, n = 690), Belgium (mean age 8.25 ± 1.09 years, n = 1,896) and Portugal (mean age 8.31 ± 1.02 years, n = 758) between 2008 and 2016. Cross‐cultural differences in MC and interaction effects were tested using ANOVAs and ANCOVAs. Age, sex and BMI percentile were used as covariates. Geographical region significantly explained 19% of the variance in MC, while BMI (5%), sex (3%) and age (0.3%) were significant covariates. The interaction effect of region and age (5%), region and sex (0.6%) and region and BMI (0.2%) on MC was also significant. Cross‐cultural differences in children’s MC seem to increase substantially across 6 to 9 years, independent of the prevalence of overweight or obesity. Girls slightly underperformed in MC compared to boys in regions where the overall level of MC was lower. On the other hand, the association between body weight status and MC seems relatively consistent across the cultures. Future cross‐cultural studies should further explore the influence of individual (e.g. physical activity) and environmental (e.g. physical activity and sport policy) factors on MC development.
This content is subject to copyright. Terms and conditions apply.
Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2020;30:349–360. wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/sms
|
349
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
1
|
INTRODUCTION
The prevalence of children classified as having poor gross
motor competence (MC) has increased in recent decades.1-3
A study from a central European region showed that around
20% of children are “at‐risk” of delays in motor develop-
ment,3 while another study stated that the proportion of such
children is more than 70% in the United States.4 MC is used
as an umbrella term reflecting different terminologies (eg,
motor ability, fundamental movement/motor skills) that de-
scribe goal‐directed human movement.5 An adequate level of
MC enables one to take part in physical activities that are
typical to one's age and developmental level. This is demon-
strated by above‐average physical activity levels,6 achieving
the daily recommended level of physical activity (PA)4 and a
higher likelihood of achieving a physically active lifestyle.7
These are globally topical issues, as the prevalence of chil-
dren's inactivity is high8 and inactivity is associated with the
Received: 21 December 2018
|
Revised: 12 June 2019
|
Accepted: 30 September 2019
DOI: 10.1111/sms.13578
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Comparison of motor competence in children aged 6‐9years
across northern, central, and southern European regions
ArtoLaukkanen1
|
FaridBardid2,3
|
MatthieuLenoir3
|
Vitor P.Lopes4,5
|
TommiVasankari6
|
PauliinaHusu6
|
ArjaSääkslahti1
1Faculty of Sport and Health
Sciences,University of Jyväskylä,
Jyväskylä, Finland
2School of Education,University of
Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
3Department of Movement and Sports
Sciences,Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
4Campus de Santa Apolónia,Instituto
Politécnico de Bragança, Bragança,
Portugal
5Research Centre of Sports, Health and
Human Development (CIDESD), Portugal
6UKK Institute for Health Promotion
Research, Tampere, Finland
Correspondence
Arto Laukkanen, Faculty of Sport and
Health Sciences, P.O. Box 35 (L366),
40014, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä,
Finland.
Email: arto.i.laukkanen@jyu.fi
Funding information
Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture,
Grant/Award Number: OKM/48/626/2014
The present study aimed to examine differences in motor competence (MC) in chil-
dren aged 6‐9years old in northern, central, and southern European regions using the
Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder (KTK). The secondary aim of the study was to
examine interactions between region and children's age, sex, and weight status (de-
termined as healthy weight or overweight/obese). Data were pooled from independ-
ent studies conducted in Finland (mean age 7.81±1.19years, n=690), Belgium
(mean age 8.25±1.09years, n=1896), and Portugal (mean age 8.31±1.02years,
n=758) between 2008 and 2016. Cross‐cultural differences in MC and interaction
effects were tested using ANOVAs and ANCOVAs. Age, sex, and BMI percentile
were used as covariates. Geographical region significantly explained 19% of the vari-
ance in MC, while BMI (5%), sex (3%), and age (0.3%) were significant covariates.
The interaction effect of region and age (5%), region and sex (0.6%), and region
and BMI (0.2%) on MC was also significant. Cross‐cultural differences in children's
MC increased substantially across age, independent of weight status. Girls slightly
underperformed in MC compared to boys in regions where the overall level of MC
was lower. Interestingly, the association between body weight status and MC was
relatively consistent across the regions. Future cross‐cultural studies should further
explore the influence of individual (eg, physical activity) and environmental (eg,
physical activity and sport policy) factors on MC development.
KEYWORDS
childhood, cultural comparison, motor assessment, motor skills, movement skills
... Two studies used only FM and free-fat mass (FFM), respectively. Overall, nine [30][31][32][33][34][35][36]38,39] and fifteen [7,15,[40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][50][51][52][53] studies provided support for inverse associations between process-and product-oriented AMC assessments and BMI, respectively. The study of Comeau et al. [33] was the only study showing both a significant association between process-oriented AMC assessment, based on the Passport for Life program, and a nonsignificant association between process-oriented AMC assessment, based on the PLAYbasic program, and BMI. ...
... For AMC, twenty-one studies included a total score within their analysis, providing overall support for an inverse association of total scores of process- [31][32][33][34][35][36]39] and productoriented [7,15,[40][41][42][43]45,46,[48][49][50][51][52] assessment and BMI. Fourteen studies [7,21,30,32,33,35,38,40,42,44,45,47,50,53] also employed individual subtest scores (locomotor, object control, and stability skills) accompanied with a measure of BMI. ...
... Nine studies [11,30,34,38,41,45,48,50,52] reported differences by gender. Seven studies [30,38,41,45,48,50,52] found superior AMC in M compared to F children. ...
Article
Full-text available
Unhealthy-weight status may represent a precursor of poor actual (AMC) (i.e., process- and product-oriented) and perceived (PMC) motor competence. AMC and PMC represent key elements favoring long-term commitment in sports and day-to-day life physical activity. In fact, the development of AMC and PMC during the primary school years could help to counteract weight-related negative effects (i.e., overweight or obesity) that are responsible for sedentary or unhealthy behavior across the life span. Therefore, this review aimed to provide a synopsis of the current research investigating the relation of AMC and PMC with weight status and in the context of potential gender differences. Systematic research in five electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE, CINAHL, Scopus) was conducted from April 2021 to May 2021 in compliance with PRISMA guidelines. Studies were included if they involved obese or overweight youth (6–10 years) with no physical or cognitive impairment and used a longitudinal or a cross-sectional assessment of motor competence and perceived motor competence outcomes. After the selection process and after duplicates were removed, the final sample included 27 studies. Most of the studies reported that AMC and PMC are negatively associated with weight status, with male and females differing from each other in overall and subtest (locomotor, object control, and stability skills) AMC scores. However, according to a risk of bias assessment, the level of evidence linked to the association of AMC (process and product) and PMC with weight status (BMI) remained uncertain and lacking, respectively. Further high-quality studies are warranted to improve the understanding of AMC and PMC in relation to weight status, which appears to be differently expressed by gender in primary school years. Regardless, based on the current quantitative data, the emerging inverse association between AMC/PMC and weight status implies that it would be best to limit sedentary behavior by including daily lessons in physical education to limit unfavorable conditions (i.e., obesity and overweight) during the school years.
... So far, there are no studies comparing BMC levels across different countries. In the last years, a few studies that investigated and compared motor proficiency internationally using process-and productoriented assessment tools (e.g., KTK, TGMD-2, TMC) found major differences in motor competence levels across geographical regions (Brian et al., 2018;Haga et al., 2018;Laukkanen et al., 2020). Even within Europe, children from Norway showed better results in fine and gross motor skills compared to children from Italy and Greece (Haga et al., 2018). ...
... In primary school children, higher age was associated with a higher level of motor competence (Barnett et al., 2016;Coppens et al., 2019). Body weight and motor competence showed relatively consistent inverse associations across different countries (Bardid et al., 2015;Coppens et al., 2019;Laukkanen et al., 2020). Luz et al. (2019) proposed that differences in extracurricular sports participation were the reason for differences in motor competence levels between Portuguese and U.S. children. ...
... Especially in SM tasks the results varied significantly between the subsamples. These results are in line with a recent cross-European study in which the geographic region explained 19% of variance in motor competence (Laukkanen et al., 2020). That study compared the levels of motor competence across three different regions in Europe (northern, central and southern Europe) and found considerable differences in 6-9-year old children's gross motor coordination and body control. ...
Article
Full-text available
Basic motor competencies (BMC) are a prerequisite for children to be physically active, participate in sports and thus develop a healthy, active lifestyle. The present study provides a broad screening of BMC and associations with age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and extracurricular physical activity (PA) in 10 different European countries. The different country and regional contexts within Europe will offer a novel view on already established BMC associations. The cross-sectional study was conducted in 11 regions in 10 European countries in 2018. The motor competence areas, object movement (OM) and self-movement (SM), were assessed using the MOBAK-1-2 test instrument in 3758 first and second graders (age: M = 6.86 ± 0.60 years; 50% girls) during Physical Education classes. Children were questioned about their extracurricular PA and age. Their body weight and height were measured in order to calculate BMI. Statistical analyses included variances and correlations. The results showed significant differences in BMC levels between countries (OM: F = 18.74, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.048; SM: F = 73.10, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.163) whereas associations between BMC and correlates were similar. Boys performed significantly better in OM while girls performed better in SM. Age was consistently positively related to OM and SM with older children reaching higher levels of BMC than younger ones. While participation rates for extracurricular PA differed widely, participation in ball sports was correlated with OM and SM. Participation in individual sports showed a significant association with SM. In summary, BMC levels of children seem to depend on where they live and are strongly related to their participation in extracurricular PA. Therefore, education and health policies, in order to enhance motor competence development and PA participation, are recommended. Further research on country-specific Physical Education frameworks and their influence on BMC will provide more insights into structural factors and cultural characteristics of BMC development. On a school level, support tools and educational materials for teachers about BMC may enable children to achieve a basic level of motor competencies through Physical Education, contributing to lifelong participation in PA.
... Despite the positive effects of physical fitness mentioned above, there is evidence that physical activity and fitness skills are inadequate in children and decrease with age [17][18][19]. There are differences in physical fitness across the countries. ...
... There are differences in physical fitness across the countries. Lower coordination skills such as balance and side jumping were observed in Portuguese children compared to children from Finland or Belgium [18] and locomotor skills of Belgian children were reported to be better than those of children from the USA [19] or Australia [20]. German children outperformed Omani children in a sprint over 20 m but not in coordinative tests [21]. ...
... Although this variable was not the strongest in the models, it was possibly relevant for the cognitive variability, and could, together with structured and more frequent PE in school, induce a possible mediating long-term mechanism via physical fitness [4]. Taken together, PE in school and a higher level of habitual activity could help to strengthen existing skills or prevent the progressive loss of fitness skills with age, which has been reported elsewhere [17][18][19][20]. In this context, school seems to be an important environment to increase children's physical activity and fitness. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the relationship between different levels of physical fitness and cognitive functions in boys and girls. Schoolchildren from a comprehensive school in Germany (n = 211, 39% girls, 5th and 6th grade) attended regular or sport-focused classes with different numbers of physical education (PE) classes per week (3 vs. 5–6 h). Performance of physical fitness was tested according to endurance, strength, speed, coordination and flexibility. Four computerized instruments (switch task, 2-back task, Corsi block-tapping task and flanker task) were used to test cognitive functions. Additional predictors, sex, age, PE class, Body Mass Index and physical activity, were included in analyses. The results showed that physical fitness was associated with improved attention and memory functions in children, although the associations were mostly small. After Bonferroni correction, mainly coordination was related to improved cognition. Physical activity, i.e., step counts, PE class and sex were associated with specific cognitive outcomes. These findings may be important for effective health promotion, and supporting children’s education in the school environment. Sex-specific physical activities in school could potentially lead to greater cognitive benefits in children. Randomized trials are needed to replicate these results.
... Despite the positive effects of physical fitness mentioned above, there is evidence that physical activity and fitness skills are inadequate in children and decrease with age [17][18][19]. There are differences in physical fitness across the countries. ...
... There are differences in physical fitness across the countries. Lower coordination skills such as balance and side jumping were observed in Portuguese children compared to children from Finland or Belgium [18] and locomotor skills of Belgian children were reported to be better than those of children from the USA [19] or Australia [20]. German children outperformed Omani children in a sprint over 20 m but not in coordinative tests [21]. ...
... Although this variable was not the strongest in the models, it was possibly relevant for the cognitive variability, and could, together with structured and more frequent PE in school, induce a possible mediating long-term mechanism via physical fitness [4]. Taken together, PE in school and a higher level of habitual activity could help to strengthen existing skills or prevent the progressive loss of fitness skills with age, which has been reported elsewhere [17][18][19][20]. In this context, school seems to be an important environment to increase children's physical activity and fitness. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study investigated the relationship between different levels of physical fitness and cognitive functions in boys and girls. Schoolchildren from a comprehensive school in Germany (n = 211, 39% girls, 5th and 6th grade) attended regular or sport-focused classes with different numbers of physical education (PE) classes per week (3 vs. 5–6 h). Performance of physical fitness was tested according to endurance, strength, speed, coordination and flexibility. Four computerized instruments (switch task, 2-back task, Corsi block-tapping task and flanker task) were used to test cognitive functions. Additional predictors, sex, age, PE class, Body Mass Index and physical activity, were included in analyses. The results showed that physical fitness was associated with improved attention and memory functions in children, although the associations were mostly small. After Bonferroni correction, mainly coordination was related to improved cognition. Physical activity, i.e., step counts, PE class and sex were associated with specific cognitive outcomes. These findings may be important for effective health promotion, and supporting children’s education in the school environment. Sex-specific physical activities in school could potentially lead to greater cognitive benefits in children. Randomized trials are needed to replicate these results.
... Ahora bien, también es posible que las actividades extracurriculares favorezcan una actitud positiva hacia la EF y la AF (Hortigüela & Hernando, 2017;Kjønniksen et al., 2009). Del mismo modo, la CM percibida está relacionada con la participación de los escolares en este tipo de programas (Laukkanen et al., 2020). Se ha encontrado una correlación positiva entre el tiempo dedicado a la AF y la CM de los participantes (Barnet et al., 2016;Lubans et al., 2010). ...
... En este sentido, Barnet et al. (2016) muestran que la AF se correlaciona de manera positiva con el desarrollo de la CM. En esta línea, Logan et al. (2015), Devís-Devís et al. (2015) y Laukkanen et al. (2020) sugieren que la CM percibida en AF es un predictor para la adherencia a la AF. Por tanto, en este estudio podría ser soportada la idea de Stodden et al (2008) y Lubans et al. (2010, en la que se expresa que a medida que se practica AF se mejora también la CM, y como se mejora la CM se sigue practicando AF, siendo un círculo vicioso continuo de aumento de la autopercepción y, consecuentemente, de la autoestima. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
El propósito de este estudio es analizar el desarrollo de un programa deportivo extraescolar no competitivo que promovía el desarrollo positivo de los jóvenes en una ciudad española entre los años 2011 y 2018. Se administró el cuestionario anual para evaluar el Programa a una muestra de 4222 participantes (2838 escolares, 1071 familiares, 261 monitores/as deportivos y 52 profesores de educación física). Se realizaron análisis estadísticos descriptivos y correlacional de Spearman para establecer relaciones entre las variables estudiadas. Los resultados presentan una mejora continua en la satisfacción del Programa y de las instalaciones deportivas, las actitudes positivas hacia la práctica deportiva, la percepción positiva de la competencia motriz de los escolares y la calidad educativa. Se concluye que este programa extraescolar tiene un potencial superior para lograr mejores resultados educativos que en otros contextos anteriores de competición deportiva, así como favorecer el aumento de los niveles de actividad física recomendados.
... Yet, the KTK is very easy to administer, is not time consuming, and the results' interpretation is easy to grasp. Further, it has systematically been used in educational settings [47][48][49] as well as in youth sports [7,50]. ...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the development of gross motor coordination (GMC) as well as its predictors in school-aged Azorean children. The sample included 181 children (90 girls), followed consecutively for 4 years from 6 to 9 years of age. GMC was assessed with the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder, and predictors included body mass index, standing long jump, 50-yard dash, and shuttle run. The changes in GMC and the effects of predictors were analyzed with mean-modeling as well as quantile regression. In the latter, we considered the following three quantiles (Q): Q20, Q50, and Q80 as markers of low, median, and high GMC levels, respectively. All analyses were conducted using R software and alpha was set at 5%. The GMC changes were curvilinear in both models, but the quantile approach showed a more encompassing picture of the changes across the three quantiles in both boys and girls with different rates of change. Further, the predictors had different effect sizes across the quantiles in both sexes, but in the mean-model their effects were constant. In conclusion, quantile regression provides more detailed information and permits a more thorough understanding of changes in GMC over time and the influence of putative predictors.
... Vandorpe [10] measured 2470 Flemish children (aged 6-12) with KTK to analyze the reference values of specific age and gender and compared the MC level with the specifications of the original standardized sample in Germany. Laukkanen [27] used KTK to detect MC differences among children aged 6 to 9 in northern, central, and southern Europe. erefore, KTK may be deployed as a tool for measuring MC, and it might be applicable to different countries and different research contents. ...
Article
Full-text available
Generally, adequate motor coordination (MC) ability is one among the critical factors for the overall development of children. In this paper, we have thoroughly analyzed the effects of equine-assistant activity (EAA) training on MC in children. For this purpose, MC test, specifically for children, was used to the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder (KTK), and a total of 100 children, particularly those in 8 to 10 age, were equally separated into equine-assistant activity group (EAAG) and control group (CG), respectively. The EAAG group has attended a 14-week EAA training program, while the CG joined in physical education activity once per week. The experimental results have indicated that four indices of KTK test (i.e., backward walk [WB], height jump [HH], jumping sideways [JS] and moving sideways [MS], and motor quotient [MQ] score) showed significant differences (∗P<0.05) after a 14-week EAA training. Furthermore, the indices of physical fitness test, standing long jump (SLJ), and sit and reach (SAR) showed significant differences (∗P<0.05), but the handgrip (HG) increased slightly without significant difference (P>0.05) after a 14-week EAA training. In conclusion, there were improvements in MC, lower limb strength, and flexibility by EAAG for those who participated in a 14-week EAA training, and this study has demonstrated the effectiveness of the KTK assessment of MC in children 8 to 10 years.
Article
Full-text available
Individuals at risk of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) have low levels of physical activity in childhood due to impaired motor competence, however physical activity levels in adulthood have not been established. This study sought to determine the impact of DCD risk on physical activity levels in adults using accelerometry measurement. Participants (n=656) from the Arvo Ylppö Longitudinal Study cohort had their motor competence assessed at the age of five years, and their physical activity quantified via device assessment at the age of 25 years. Between group differences were assessed to differentiate physical activity measures for individuals based on DCD risk status, with general linear modelling performed to control for the effects of sex, body mass index (BMI), and maternal education. Participants at risk of DCD were found to have a lower total number of steps (d=0.3, p=.022) than those not at risk. Statistical modelling indicated that DCD risk status increased time spent in sedentary light activity (β=0.1, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.3, p=.026) and decreased time spent in vigorous physical activity via interaction with BMI (β=0.04, 95% CI 0.001 to 0.1, p=.025). Sensitivity analysis found that visuomotor impairment did not significantly impact physical activity but did increase the role of DCD risk status in some models. This 20‐year‐longitudinal study indicated that DCD risk status continues to negatively impact on levels of physical activity into early adulthood.
Article
Full-text available
The present study aimed to examine cross-cultural differences in fundamental movement skills (FMS) proficiency levels in children aged 9-10 years old in England and China, using a process-oriented FMS measurement. Four FMS (run, jump, throw, catch) were measured using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (TGMD-2). The sample consisted of 272 (58.3% boys, 41.7% girls) Chinese children and 273 (48.7% boys, 51.3% girls) English children. ANCOVA analysis for the raw FMS scores showed a significant sex by country interaction (P = .022, partial η2 = .01). Chinese children scored higher than English children on total FMS, locomotor and object control skill subsets. Additional Chi-squared analyses revealed significant differences regarding mastery levels of skills, with a higher proportion of Chinese children being classified as having advanced skill proficiency across three of four selected FMS (i.e. run, throw, and catch). The substantial cross-cultural differences found may be related to aspects such as Physical Education (PE) provision and process, educational policy, and other physical activity opportunities (e.g. extracurricular organised sports). Our findings require further examination of the contextual influences, in order to understand the optimal strategies that promotes children’s FMS development through PE, youth sports or physical activity promotion.
Article
Abstract Problem Statement: Parents of young children favor indoor activities for their children, because staying inside supports comfortable daily routines in the family timetable, safety issues and clothing. However, playing outdoors supports children’s development, offering multiple challenges to overcome and the possibility to learn new skills. Approach: Based on Gibson’s theory of affordances (1977), outdoors can be seen as an excellent learning environment for children to reach the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1987). Purpose: This paper describes Finnish nature and four seasons as an environment to support children’s motor development and inspire outdoor playing. The Skilled kids participants (N= 1136, 2- to 7-year-old children) were chosen by cluster randomization from childcare centers representing young children’s motor competence in geographically different parts of Finland. Children’s motor competence was measured with the Test of Gross Motor Development, TGMD-3 (Ulrich, 2019). Results: Young children living in countryside and in small cities had better motor competence and spent more time playing outdoors than children living in metropolitan area. This difference in the amount of outdoor play and the motor competence underlines the importance of outdoor facilities. The description of the Finnish outdoor environment, such as forest, water, snow and ice, reveals environmental factors that may attract and motivate children to challenge their motor abilities. Therefore, the environment can support physically active playing, increasing young children’s overall physical activity and motor competence. Conclusions: Versatile environments stimulate children’s motor development. Parents and teachers of young children should be encouraged to let their children play outdoors during all seasons in different weather conditions. Appropriate clothing guarantees free playing, daily timetables in day care should allow outdoor playing sessions, and outdoor play yards should have large area with different affordances for children’s free use. Keywords: Motor competence, Children, Outdoor playing, Environment, Physical activity
Article
Full-text available
Motor development is affected by maturation and growth but also influenced by the specific environmental and cultural context. Therefore, cross-cultural research can provide information about how different cultural contexts, lifestyles, and physical activity contexts can influence the process of developing motor competence. The purpose of this study was to evaluate aspects of motor competence among children from different cultural backgrounds. The sample of 463 children from 6 to 8 years consisting of 132 Greek children (52.3 % boys), 126 Italian children (53.9 % boys), and 205 Norwegian children (52.7) completed the Test of Motor Competence (TMC) including two fine motor tasks—Placing Bricks and Building Bricks—and two gross motor tasks—Heel to Toe Walking and Walking/Running in Slopes. The results indicate that the Norwegian children performed better in all tests; the differences were statistically significant in all four tasks compared with Italian children and in two tasks compared with the Greek children (Building Bricks and Heel to Toe Walking). Greek children performed significantly better than the Italians in two tasks: Placing Bricks and Heel to Toe Walking. Italian children were significantly faster than the Greek ones in one task: Walking/Running in Slopes. The differences in terms of levels of basic fine and gross motor skills between children from the different countries may be a consequence of both different physical activity contexts and cultural policies, attitudes, and habits toward movement.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: The present study examined the motor competence of preschool children from Belgium and the United States (US), and the influence of perceived motor competence on actual motor competence. A secondary objective was to compare the levels of motor competence of Belgian and US children using the US norms of the Test of Gross Motor Development, Second Edition (TGMD-2). Methods: All participants (N = 326; ages 4-5) completed the TGMD-2 and the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children. Results: Belgian children performed significantly higher on actual object control and locomotor skills than US children. However, both Belgian and US children scored significantly worse on the TGMD-2 when compared to the US norm group from 1997-1998. Furthermore, perceived motor competence was significantly related to actual object control skills but not locomotor skills. Conclusion: The present study showed cross-cultural differences in actual motor competence in young children. The findings also indicate a secular downward trend in childhood competence levels, possibly due to a decrease in physical activity and increase in sedentary behavior. Future research should consider conducting an in-depth exploration of physical activity contexts such as physical education to better understand cross-cultural differences in motor competence.
Book
Full-text available
Children’s independent mobility matters for a variety of reasons, including the ability to be autonomous and safe outside the home, staying physically fit and reducing the risk of obesity, and developing social and practical skills. Losing this independence can leave children less self-sufficient, less healthy and less free. It is therefore vital to understand the ways in which the ability to travel independently have changed and what this implies for society and future policy.
Article
Full-text available
The Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance organized the concurrent preparation of Report Cards on the physical activity of children and youth in 38 countries from 6 continents (representing 60% of the world’s population). Nine common indicators were used (Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport Participation, Active Play, Active Transportation, Sedentary Behavior, Family and Peers, School, Community and the Built Environment, and Government Strategies and Investments), and all Report Cards were generated through a harmonized development process and a standardized grading framework (from A = excellent, to F = failing). The 38 Report Cards were presented at the International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health in Bangkok, Thailand on November 16, 2016. The consolidated findings are summarized in the form of a Global Matrix demonstrating substantial variation in grades both within and across countries. Countries that lead in certain indicators often lag in others. Average grades for both Overall Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior around the world are D (low/poor). In contrast, the average grade for indicators related to supports for physical activity was C. Lower-income countries generally had better grades on Overall Physical Activity, Active Transportation, and Sedentary Behaviors compared with higher-income countries, yet worse grades for supports from Family and Peers, Community and the Built Environment, and Government Strategies and Investments. Average grades for all indicators combined were highest (best) in Denmark, Slovenia, and the Netherlands. Many surveillance and research gaps were apparent, especially for the Active Play and Family and Peers indicators. International cooperation and cross-fertilization is encouraged to address existing challenges, understand underlying determinants, conceive innovative solutions, and mitigate the global childhood inactivity crisis. The paradox of higher physical activity and lower sedentary behavior in countries reporting poorer infrastructure, and lower physical activity and higher sedentary behavior in countries reporting better infrastructure, suggests that autonomy to play, travel, or chore requirements and/or fewer attractive sedentary pursuits, rather than infrastructure and structured activities, may facilitate higher levels of physical activity.
Article
Full-text available
The Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder (KTK) (Kiphard & Schilling, 1974, 2007) is a standardized, norm-referenced measure used by physical therapists and occupational therapists in clinic and school practice settings to evaluate the motor coordination (MC) of 5- to 14-year-old children. To find out for which research purposes the KTK has been used and its reliability and validity, we conducted a systematic review. Searching five databases, we found 46 studies used the KTK over four decades. The KTK was widely used in Europe in children with typical and atypical development. The KTK was used to investigate associations, to test the effects of interventions and treatments, to identify or diagnose different factors, to evaluate MC and it was included in reviews of motor assessments. The KTK was reported to be a reliable measure, although only nine studies examined its validity or reliability in target populations. The KTK was considered a non-sport/skill-specific, easy-to-administer, had a scoring system that enabled cross-study comparisons but was limited to balance and locomotor aspects, had norm values that were outdated, and needed careful standardization. The KTK's validity for different purposes requires further evaluation.
Article
Objectives This study examined the existence of a threshold level (proficiency barrier) of actual motor competence (MC) below which a child is not likely to attain 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day. Design A cross-sectional study Methods Actual MC was assessed in 326 children (48.5% boys; age = 9.50 ± 1.24yrs) using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2; MVPA was measured with ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometers. Perceived MC, included as a potential mediating variable, was assessed with the Self-Perception Profile for Children. Binary logistic (mediation) regression analyses controlling for sex and a chi-squared test were used to gain insight into the relationship between (the levels of) actual MC and the percentage of children meeting the MVPA guideline. Results Actual MC significantly predicted the percentage of children meeting the guideline (B = .03, SE = .01, p < .001), even when controlling for sex. Perceived MC did not mediate this relationship. Children with high actual MC (65-100 percentile) were 2.46 (p=.003) times more likely to meet the guideline than children with low actual MC (0-27 percentile). Conclusions The present study demonstrates the potential impact of low MC on children’s MVPA levels and suggests evidence for the existence of a proficiency barrier for meeting MVPA guidelines. Almost 90% of the children whose actual MC is below the ‘average’ threshold do not meet the MVPA guideline. As more children with higher levels of actual MC meet the guideline than their less competent peers, it is crucial to provide opportunities to sufficiently develop children’s actual MC.
Article
p> OBJECTIVES: Previous studies have shown that children who spend more time outdoors are more active and spend less time sedentary, but these studies were limited by the use of small convenience samples. We examined the relationship between outdoor time and measures of physical activity (PA), screen time and sedentary time in a nationally-representative sample of young children. METHODS: Parental reports of outdoor time were obtained for 594 children aged 3–6 years (47.8% girls) who participated in the 2012–2013 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Participants were asked to wear an Actical accelerometer for seven consecutive days. Outdoor time and screen time were assessed by parent reports. The relationships between outdoor time and measures of PA, screen time and sedentary time were examined with linear regression models. Adherence to PA guidelines was estimated based on a betabinomial distribution, and adherence with the screen time guidelines was assessed through logistic regression models. All analyses were stratified by age group (3–4 and 5–6 year olds) and adjusted for sex, parental education and household income. RESULTS: Among 5–6 year olds, each additional hour spent outdoors was associated with an additional 10 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA (95% CI: 6–14), 27,455 more accelerometer counts/day (95% CI: 11,929–42,980) and an increased likelihood of meeting the PA guidelines (OR = 2.53; 95% CI: 1.68–3.82). No significant relationships were observed among 3–4 year olds. CONCLUSION: Outdoor time has a large effect on PA among 5–6 year olds at a population level. Future studies should examine the correlates of outdoor time to inform novel PA promotion interventions.</p