This study investigated if motor proficiency (MP) in preschool age associate with physical activity (PA) in adolescence.
In 2004, the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-Short Form (BOTMP-SF) (7) was administered to 413 children, aged 4–6 years, who were classified to MP groups according to their BOTMP-SF total score (TS). In 2014, the PA of 106 former participants (47 boys, 59 girls) was measured with Omron pedometers. MP [three (high; above average; average)] × gender (two) ANOVA and Bonferroni tests were computed on average of steps/week.
A significant interaction between the two factors was revealed (F = 15.27, p < .001, η2=.153), indicating that MP influenced male and female PA differently. Only in average MP group, males presented higher PA than females, whereas there were no differences between the two genders in the higher MP groups. Moreover, the only significant difference in PA among male groups was that between high and above average MP groups, while in females there were significant differences among all groups.
High MP at preschool age positively associated with the PA in adolescence, especially in females. Emphasis on the development of proficient young movers might be beneficial for lifelong PA.
Venetsanou is with the School of Physical Education & Sport Science, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Dafni, Greece. Kambas is with the School of Physical Education & Sport Science, Democritus University of Thrace, University Campus, Komotini, Greece.