Relationship Between Fundamental Motor Skill Ability and Body Mass Index in Young Adults

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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  • 1 University of Costa Rica
  • 2 National University
  • 3 University of Costa Rica
  • 4 Texas A&M University
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Purpose:

Motor skill competence has been associated with physical activity level, fitness, and other relevant health-related characteristics. Recent research has focused on understanding these relationships in children and adolescents, but little is known about subsequent years. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between fundamental motor skill (FMS) ability and body mass index (BMI) in young adults.

Method:

Participants, 40 men and 40 women (M age = 19.25 yr, SD = 2.48), were assessed for BMI and motor competence with 10 fundamental motor skills (FMSs) using the Test for Fundamental Motor Skills in Adults (TFMSA).

Results:

BMI was negatively associated with total motor ability (r = –.257; p = .02) and object control skills (r = –.251; p = .02); the relationship with locomotor skills was marginally insignificant (r = –.204; p = .07). In regard to individual skills, a significant negative association was found for running, jumping, striking, and kicking (ps < .05). Multiple regression analysis indicated that BMI and gender predicted 42% of the variance in total FMS score; gender was the only significant predictor.

Conclusion:

Overall, these preliminary findings suggest that young adults with higher FMS ability are more likely to have lower BMI scores.

Jiménez is with the School of Physical Education and Sports, University of Costa Rica, Montes de Oca, Costa Rica. Morera is with the School of Human Movement Science and Quality of Life, National University, Heredia, Costa Rica. Salazar is with the School of Physical Education and Sports, University of Costa Rica, Montes de Oca, Costa Rica. Gabbard is with the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

Address author correspondence to Judith Jiménez at judith.jimenez_d@ucr.ac.cr