Health-related fitness (HRF) and motor coordination (MC) can be influenced by children’s environment and lifestyle behavior. This study evaluates the association between living environment and HRF, MC, and physical and sedentary activities of children in Suriname.
Tests were performed for HRF (morphological, muscular, and cardiorespiratory component), gross MC (Körperkoordinations Test für Kinder), fine MC (Movement Assessment Battery for Children), and self-reported activities in 79 urban and 77 rural 7-year-old Maroon children. Urban-rural differences were calculated by an independent sample t test (Mann-Whitney U test if not normally distributed) and χ2 test.
No difference was found in body mass index, muscle strength, and the overall score of gross and fine MC. However, urban children scored lower in HRF on the cardiorespiratory component (P ≤ .001), in gross MC on walking backward (P = .014), and jumping sideways (P = 0.011). They scored higher in the gross MC component moving sideways (P ≤ .001) and lower in fine MC on the trail test (P = .036) and reported significantly more sedentary and fewer physical activities than rural children.
Living environment was associated with certain components of HRF, MC, and physical and sedentary activities of 7-year-old children in Suriname. Further research is needed to evaluate the development of urban children to provide information for possible intervention and prevention strategies.
Walhain and Lamur are with the Dept of Anatomy, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Suriname. van Gorp, Veeger, and Ledebt are with the Research Institute MOVE, Dept of Human Movement Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands.