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Pauli Olavi Rintala, Arja Kaarina Sääkslahti and Susanna Iivonen

This study examined the intrarater and interrater reliability of the Test of Gross Motor Development—3rd Edition (TGMD-3). Participants were 60 Finnish children aged between 3 and 9 years, divided into three separate samples of 20. Two samples of 20 were used to examine the intrarater reliability of two different assessors, and the third sample of 20 was used to establish interrater reliability. Children’s TGMD-3 performances were video-recorded and later assessed using an intraclass correlation coefficient, a kappa statistic, and a percent agreement calculation. The intrarater reliability of the locomotor subtest, ball skills subtest, and gross motor total score ranged from 0.69 to 0.77, and percent agreement ranged from 87 to 91%. The interrater reliability of the locomotor subtest, ball skills subtest, and gross motor total score ranged from 0.56 to 0.64. Percent agreement of 83% was observed for locomotor skills, ball skills, and total skills, respectively. Hop, horizontal jump, and two-hand strike assessments showed the most difference between the assessors. These results show acceptable reliability for the TGMD-3 to analyze children’s gross motor skills.

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Arja Sääkslahti, Pirkko Numminen, Pia Salo, Juhani Tuominen, Hans Helenius and Ilkka Välimäki

This study focused on the physical activities of 228 children over 3 years. Children were divided into control (n = 112) and intervention (n = 116) groups. Parents of intervention-group children received information and concrete suggestions on how, when, and where to encourage their child’s physical activity. Children in the intervention group spent more time playing outdoors (p = .041) than did children in the control group, and play in the high-activity category increased with age (p < .001), whereas no change occurred in the control group. Our study showed that children’s physical activity could be increased via family-based intervention.

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Timo Tapio Jaakkola, Arja Sääkslahti, Sami Yli-Piipari, Mika Manninen, Anthony Watt and Jarmo Liukkonen

The purpose of the study was to analyze students’ motivation in relation to their participation in fitness testing classes. Participants were 134 Finnish Grade 5 and 8 students. Students completed the contextual motivation and perceived physical competence scales before the fitness testing class and the situational motivation questionnaire immediately after the class. During the fitness test class, abdominal muscle endurance was measured by curl-up test, lower body explosive strength and locomotor skills by the five leaps test, and speed and agility by the Figure 8 running test. For the fitness testing class, students reported higher scores for intrinsic motivation, identified motivation, and amotivation than in their general physical education program. The result of the path analysis showed physical fitness was positively related to perceived physical competence. In addition, perceived competence was found to be a positive predictor of situational intrinsic motivation, but not of other forms of situational motivation. Significant path coefficients in the model ranged from −.15 to .26.

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Arja Sääkslahti, Pirkko Numminen, Harri Niinikoski, Leena Rask-Nissilä, Jorma Viikari, Juhani Tuominen and Ilkaa Välimäki

The purpose of this study was to examine patterns of physical activity (PA) during a single weekend to ascertain possible relationships between PA and anthropometry, fundamental motor skills, and CHD risk factors among 105 normal male and female children, aged 3–4 years. The children played, when awake, on the average for 14 hr, 16 min indoors and for 5 hr, 12 min outdoors of which low activity playing accounted about 4 hr. Notable gender differences were observed in the intensity of PA but not in fundamental motor skills and CHD risk factors. The results suggest that physical activity is weakly related to fundamental motor skills and CHD risk factors at an early age. The association between PA and body size was modified by gender (p = .024): The girls who played indoors a lot were heavier than the others, and the boys who played much more outdoors were heavier in relation to other boys. The associations between PA and motor skills as well as PA and CHD risk factors were also highly gender-dependent: The boys benefited from interacting with parents, while the girls benefited from independence. The most influential factors seemed to be the amount of playing outdoors, the amount of high level play activities, as well as interaction with parents.

Open access

Katariina Kämppi, Annaleena Aira, Nina Halme, Pauliina Husu, Virpi Inkinen, Laura Joensuu, Sami Kokko, Kaarlo Laine, Kaisu Mononen, Sanna Palomäki, Timo Ståhl, Arja Sääkslahti and Tuija Tammelin

Open access

Tuija H. Tammelin, Annaleena Aira, Matti Hakamäki, Pauliina Husu, Jouni Kallio, Sami Kokko, Kaarlo Laine, Kati Lehtonen, Kaisu Mononen, Sanna Palomäki, Timo Ståhl, Arja Sääkslahti, Jorma Tynjälä and Katariina Kämppi

Background:

Finland’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth gathers and translates research results and assesses the status and promotion of physical activity (PA) among Finnish children and youth less than 18 years of age. This article summarizes the results and provides grades for 9 indicators.

Methods:

The working group evaluated the evidence and assigned grades of A (highest, 81% to 100%), B, C, D, or F (lowest, 0% to 20%) for 9 PA indicators using the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card development process.

Results:

The grades varied in Finland as follows: 1) Overall PA/fulfillment of recommendations = D, 2) Organized Sport Participation = C, 3) Active Play = C, 4) Active Transportation = B, 5) Sedentary Behaviors = D, 6) Family and Peers = C, 7) School = B, 8) Community and the Built Environment = B, 9) Government = B.

Conclusions:

Despite good policies and programs to promote PA in Finland, children and youth overall PA levels are low, whereas their time spent sedentary is high. More effective interventions, operation models, concrete tools as well as environmental solutions are needed to support the work toward more physically active childhood and youth.