Fundamental motor development and physical activity levels of kindergarten children in School District 61 Victoria, BC




Cook, Ryan

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Currently one-quarter of Canadian children are meeting the minimal Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) daily. These alarming data suggest there is an urgent need to examine factors associated with children’s engagement in physical activity. Motor skill proficiency is associated with time spent in MVPA and predictive of participation in organized sport among adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between motor skills and physical activity of children in their first year of school. As gender-based differences in motor skill proficiency and physical activity are common, the influence of gender was also examined. Motor skills were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development – 2 and physical activity measured with accelerometers (Actigraph GT1M). Of the 106 (mean age = 6y3m) consented kindergarten children, 58% met the accelerometer wear-time inclusion criteria of 10 hours per day on at least 4 days. A MANCOVA revealed no significant gender based differences in motor skills or physical activity; therefore subsequent analyses included all children. Mastery of individual components of each skill as a percentage, were 54.1% of locomotor and 42.3% of object control skills. Using a cut-point of 4 metabolic equivalents, all of the children achieved 60-minutes of daily and weekday MVPA, and 82% of children achieved 60-minutes per day on the weekend. Both object control and locomotor skills were significantly related to the intensity of recorded activity. However, linear regression revealed that total motor skills predicted more variance in MVPA (9%) than either locomotor skills or object control skills independently. The findings of this study reveal that the kindergarten children engaged in MVPA at a rate equivalent to, or higher than, the minimum recommendations for Canadian children. However, motor skill proficiency was somewhat low. Children’s motor skill proficiency predicted a small, but significant, proportion of children’s physical activity.



elementary school, British Columbia, physical education, motor ability