Association Between Moderate and Vigorous Physical Activity and Gross Motor Coordination in Preschool Children

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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Introduction: Adequate gross motor coordination is essential for children participating in age-related physical activities and has an important role in maintaining sufficient physical activity levels during the life course. Aim: To examine the association between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and gross motor coordination during sedentary behavior in early childhood (ages 3–6 y). Methods: The sample comprised 209 children aged 3–6 y. Gross motor coordination was assessed according to the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC-2). The battery to assess gross motor coordination comprised the aiming and catching, and balance components. MVPA was measured by accelerometry worn for 7 consecutive days (Monday to Sunday). Results: Our data indicated that 31.5% of the sample had low, 32.5% medium, and 36.0% high gross motor coordination. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that MVPA was positively associated with gross motor coordination, adjusted for gender and sedentary behavior. Conclusions: Preschoolers with high gross motor coordination spend more time in MVPA. Gross motor coordination development should therefore be a key strategy in childhood interventions aiming to promote physical activity.

Silva-Santos, Santos, and Mota are with the Centre in Physical Activity, Health, and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Portugal. Duncan is with the School of Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom. Vale is with the Department of Sport Sciences, High School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

Address author correspondence to Sandra Silva-Santos at sandrcris@gmail.com.
Journal of Motor Learning and Development

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