Introduction: The developmental phase of fundamental movement skill (FMS) development is under pressure. Several studies on physical activity (PA), the basic underlying factor of FMS development, report that large numbers of young children do not meet daily recommended amounts of PA (Duncan, 2007, Cardon, 2007). Specifically children's outdoor play has been declined over the past generations with several underlying reasons including extended use of screen media and increased concerns on crime and safety (Clement 2004). When FMS are assessed among preschool children, the main purposes is detection of dysfunctions and disorders. Studies on the PA - FMS relationship are scarce and fragmented, PA research tends to focus primarily on health issues rather than on motor proficiency of children. When children, however, don't manage to break through a basic movement skill proficiency barrier, there is a high risk of dropping out of engaging in PAs (Gallahue & Ozmun, 2002). A general concern on reduced and delayed FMS development among preschoolers in Flanders has been reported by Cools et al. (2007).
Objectives: The goal of this study is to determine the correlation between 4 and 6 years old preschool children's PA and their FMS developmental status.
Methods: Two rural and two urban preschools participated in the study. 80 (52,6%) out of 152 parents provided informed consent for participation in the study. 32 preschoolers in rural area preschools (16 boys and 16 girls) and 48 preschoolers in urban area preschools (23 boys and 25 girls) participated in the study. The data is collected in autumn, winter and spring. Each period consists of four full days of which two schooldays and two weekend days. Registering starts at waking up, step counts are recorded at the beginning and end of each school day and at bedtime. Fundamental movement skill development is assessed with the MOT 4-6 ( Zimmer & Volkamer, 1987) in autumn and in spring. The Yamax Digiwalker pedometer type SW-200 was used to register step counts. In addition, the preschooler's were weighted with a digital balance and measured with a standard measuring tape. Data are analyzed using SPSS for Windows.
Results and conclusions: Preliminary results show no significant relationship between preschool children's daily step counts and their fundamental movement skill development (r = .11, n.s.). In addition, these results show no significant (t = 0.39, n.s.) differences in PA between girls (M = 11 110 +/- 3 339) and boys (M = 10 775 +/- 3140).
Duncan, Al-Nakeeb, Woodfield and Lyons. Prev Med (2007) 44:416-420.
Cardon , De Bourdeaudhuij. Pediatr Exerc Sci (2007) 19(2):205-14.
Clements. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood (2004) 5(1):68-80.
Cools, De Martelaer, Vandaele, Samaey & Andries. Sixt International Conference on Sport, Leisure and Ergonomics. Burton Manor, UK (2007).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication13th annual congress of the European College of Sport Science
EditorsJ. Cabri, F. Alves, D. Araujo, J. Diniz, A. Veloso
PublisherEuropean College of Sport Science
ISBN (Print)978-972-735-156-5
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2008
EventFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 21 Sep 200925 Sep 2009

Publication series

NameBooks of abstracts


ConferenceFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet

    Research areas

  • Step Counts, Yamax Digiwalker, MOT 4-6, early childhood

ID: 1683772