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  • Author: Barbara Vandorpe x
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Joric B. Vandendriessche, Barbara Vandorpe, Manuel J. Coelho-e-Silva, Roel Vaeyens, Matthieu Lenoir, Johan Lefevre and Renaat M. Philippaerts

Discussions of growth and motor performance of children are often set in the context of physical fitness. Although there is a clear theoretical concept or definition of fitness comprising motor coordination, the latter is not systematically considered. This study determined to what extent the variance in motor coordination might be explained by morphological and fitness characteristics. To postulate understanding of this association during childhood, 613 boys aged 7–11 years completed the morphological measurements, the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder (KTK) and different fitness tests. The results demonstrated a substantial interrelationship among morphology, fitness and motor coordination in elementary school boys. The magnitude of explained variance and the loadings of the canonical correlation between the several constructs are strongly pronounced during childhood indicating that these constructs should be well considered given their contribution to a child’s general development.

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Joric B. Vandendriessche, Barbara F.R. Vandorpe, Roel Vaeyens, Robert M. Malina, Johan Lefevre, Matthieu Lenoir and Renaat M. Philippaerts

Socioeconomic status (SES) is often indicated as a factor that influences physical activity and associated health outcomes. This study examined the relationship between SES and sport participation, morphology, fitness and motor coordination in a sample of 1955 Flemish children 6–11 years of age. Gender, age and SES-specific values for morphologic dimensions, amount and type of sport participation and fitness and motor coordination tests were compared. SES was positively and significantly associated with sport participation and sports club membership in both sexes. Although differences were not consistently significant, morphologic dimensions and tests of fitness and motor coordination showed a trend in favor of children from higher SES. The results suggest that public and local authorities should consider providing equal opportunities for children in all social strata and especially those in the lower SES to experience the beneficial effects of sport participation through which they can enhance levels of physical fitness and motor coordination.