Fundamental motor skill proficiency in normal weight and overweight children
Zagrodnik, James Allan
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This investigation was conducted for two reasons: First, to observe the relationship between normal weight and overweight children on fundamental motor skill performance. Second, to determine the effect a physical activity intervention program has on fundamental motor skill performance in overweight children. In the first study, th113 overweight children (BMI > 85 percentile, mean age 9.25 SD 1.14) were compared ththto 41 normal weight children (15 < BMI < 75 percentile, mean age 9.79 SD 1.06) on performance of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency Short Form (BOTMP Short Form). In the second study, 104 overweight children were divided into a Control group (n = 40), a 20 minute exercise group (n = 31), and a 40 minute exercise group (n = 33) and completed a 14 week physical activity program, performed with the goal of maintaining a heart rate of at least 150 bmp. Participants fundamental motor skill proficiency was measured pre and post exercise intervention using the BOTMP Short Form. Normal weight children were superior in performance than their overweight peers on the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency as a whole (t152 = 7.78, p < 0.001, d = 2.08) and on 9 of the 14 items. Normal weight boys and girls differed on only one item, Copying a Circle with Preferred Hand (t33.29 = 2.42, p = 0.021, d = 0.84), as girls were superior in performance than boys. Overweight boys were superior to overweight girls on Total Score (t96.93 = 3.51, p = 0.001, d = 0.67), and four items. Overweight girls performed better than overweight boys on Tapping Feet Alternately While Making Circles with Fingers (t100.74 = 2.37, p = 0.020, d = 0.46). No significant differences occurred between the three exercise groups for Total Score or on any of the 14 items of the BOTMP Short Form following the 14 week exercise intervention. In conclusion, a large gap between non-overweight and overweight children on fundamental motor skill performance exists with many gender differences between overweight children. An exercise intervention, alone, does not appear to improve the fundamental motor skill performance in overweight children. This study supports the need for the instruction of fundamental motor skills to be a part of the physical education curriculum.