This study examined the potential relationship between participation in physical activity (PA) assessed by triaxial accelerometry and physical fitness testing, including health-related and skill-related parameters of fitness, in 136 Japanese preschoolers (65 girls and 71 boys, 5.5 ± 0.6 years). In partial correlation analyses, grip strength and 20m shuttle run test were positively correlated with time spent in physical activity ratio (PAR) ≥ 4. Better scores on standing long jump distance and jump over and crawl under tests were associated with lower sedentary time and greater moderate-to-vigorous PA time and PAR ≥ 4 time, and increased physical activity level. Moreover, 25m run speed was positively correlated with time spent in PAR ≥ 4 and locomotive activity. These findings suggest that development of both health-related (muscle strength and aerobic fitness) and skill-related fitness (power, agility and speed) may make engagement in PA easier for preschool children, although further research on the cause-effect relationship is needed.
C. Tanaka is with the Division of Integrated Sciences, J.F. Oberlin University, Tokyo, Japan. Hikihara is with the Faculty of Engineering, Chiba Institute of Technology, Chiba, Japan. Ohkawara is with the Faculty of Informatics and Engineering, University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, Japan. S. Tanaka is with the Dept. of Nutritional Science, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Tokyo, Japan.