The relationship between childhood physical activity, motor skill competency and strength in 7-11 year olds

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


Background: The Health Survey for England (2015) identified 80% of children aged 7–11 were below the World Health Organisation’s recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (PA) per day. At this age a child’s central nervous system develops at an accelerated rate, offering an opportunity to build and develop strength whilst improving motor skill proficiency; both of which are important for participation in PA. Purpose: To explore possible associations between PA levels, motor skill competency and strength amongst children aged between 7–11 years. Methods: Seven-hundred pupils from 10 primary schools in Gloucestershire were tested over a 12-week period. Isometric strength was measured through an isometric mid-thigh pull using a portable force platform. Movement skill competency was assessed using the Athlete Introductory Movement Screen (AIMS-4). Finally, participants completed PA engagement (PAQ-C), enjoyment (PACES) and self-perception questionnaires (PSPP). Results: A Spearman’s Rho correlation identified a significant association (p<0.001) between movement skill competency and strength (rho=0.26), PA enjoyment (rho=0.17), PA engagement (rho=0.21), self-perception (rho=0.47), and number of sports played (rho2=0.26). Movement competency groups were determined using 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles taken from the AIMS-4 scores. A Kruskall-Wallis test indicated significant differences between each group, with participants in higher percentiles displaying higher scores for all other variables (p<0.001). Conclusion: Interventions aiming to improve children’s movement skill competencies have the potential to improve a variety of physical and psychological factors which can positively impact a child’s overall wellbeing.
Period13 Oct 2021
Event title8th International Society for Physical Activity and Health Congress: The Wholistic Approach to Health and Wellness through Physical Activity: Body, Spirit, and Mind
Event typeConference