Motor skill competence and moderate to vigorous physical activity: An individual pooled analysis of eight trials

Barnett, L.M.; Verswijveren, S.J.J.M.; Colvin B., Lubans, D.R.; Telford, R.M.; Lander, N.J.; Schott, N.; Tietjens, M.; Hesketh, K.D.; Morgan, P.J.; Hinkley, T.; Downing, K.L; Telford, R.D.; Cohen, K.E.; Ridgers, N.D.; Abbott, G.A.

Research article (journal)


Background Few studies have examined the relationship between motor skill competence and device-measured physical activity in large samples and none have used non-linear modelling. This study assessed the linear and non-linear associations between motor skill competence and physical activity in children using pooled data from eight studies. Methods Cross-sectional ActiGraph accelerometer and motor skills competence data from 988 children (50.8% boys) aged 3–11 years were included. Total, object control and locomotor skill competence were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Skill Development. Linear mixed models were fitted to examine linear associations between motor skill competence and physical activity. Then, restricted cubic splines models were used to assess potential non-linear relationships. Interactions by sex and age were assessed. Results There was evidence of positive linear associations between total skill, and object control and locomotor skills, with moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity; however, the associations with total skill competence and object control better fitted a non-linear model. Non-linear models indicated associations were positive but relatively weak in the low to mid ranges of TGMD/object control scores but at high ranges (~ > 70 out of 100/ and ~ 35 out of 50) the association strength increased for both moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity. There were sex interactions for locomotor skills only, specifically for vigorous activity with boys having a stronger positive association than girls. Conclusions There appears to be a threshold for object control skill proficiency that children need to reach to enhance their physical activity levels which provides support for a motor skill “proficiency barrier”. This provides a tangible benchmark for children to achieve in motor competence programs.

Details zur Publikation

Release year: 2024
Language in which the publication is writtenEnglish
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