Fundamental movement skills are a correlate of physical activity and weight status. Children who participated in a preschool intervention had greater movement skill proficiency and improved anthropometric measures (waist circumference and BMI z scores) post intervention. Three years later, intervention girls had retained their object control skill advantage. The study purpose was to assess whether at 3-year follow up a) intervention children were more physically active than controls and b) the intervention effect on anthropometrics was still present.
Children were assessed at ages 4, 5, and 8 years for anthropometric measures and locomotor and object control proficiency (Test of Gross Motor Development-2). At age 8, children were also assessed for moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (using accelerometry). Several general linear models were run, the first with MVPA as the outcome, intervention/control, anthropometrics, object control and locomotor scores as predictors, and age and sex as covariates. The second and third models were similar, except baseline to follow-up anthropometric differences were the outcome.
Overall follow-up rate was 29% (163/560), with 111 children having complete data. There were no intervention control differences in either MVPA or anthropometrics.
Increased skill competence did not translate to increased physical activity.