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The purpose of this review is to synthesize the evidence of the relationship between fundamental motor skills (FMS) competence and physical activity by qualitatively describing results from 13 studies that met rigorous inclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria: (a) published in a peer-review journal, (b) participants were between the ages of 3–18, (c) participants were typically developing, (d) FMS was measured by a process-oriented assessment, (e) assessed physical activity, (f) related FMS and physical activity through statistical procedures, and (g) printed in English. Databases were searched for relevant articles using key terms related to FMS and physical activity. Evidence suggested low to moderate relationships between FMS competence and physical activity in early childhood (r = .16 to .48; R2 = 3–23%, 4 studies), low to high relationships in middle to late childhood (r = .24 to .55; R2 = 6–30%, 7 studies), and low to moderate relationships in adolescence (r = .14 to .35; R2 = 2–12.3%, 2 studies). Across ages, object control skills and locomotor skills were more strongly related to physical activity for boys and girls, respectively. Future research should emphasize experimental and longitudinal research designs to provide further understanding of the relationship between FMS competence and physical activity.
Logan is with the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. Webster is with the School of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. Getchell is with the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE. Pfeiffer is with the Department of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Robinson is with the School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. This systematic review was conceptualized and initiated when Dr. Samuel W. Logan and Dr. E. Kipling Webster were doctoral students at Auburn University under the mentorship of Dr. Leah E. Robinson.