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Modeling children's development in gross motor coordination reveals key modifiable determinants. An allometric approach

journal contribution
posted on 01.05.2018, 00:00 authored by M A M Dos Santos, A M Nevill, R Buranarugsa, S Pereira, T N Q F Gomes, A Reyes, Lisa BarnettLisa Barnett, J A R Maia
Children change their body size, shape, and gross motor coordination (GMC) as they grow. Further, GMC is expected to link to changes in children's body size, physical activity (PA), and physical fitness (PF). The objective was to model GMC changes in children followed longitudinally and to investigate associations between these changes and PA and PF levels. A total of 245 children (122 girls) were observed at 6 years of age and followed annually until 9 years. A sequence of allometric models was fitted, that is, 1. body mass, stature, and PA; 2. addition of four PF tests; 3. addition of four more PF tests. In Model 1, changes in GMC are nonlinear, and body mass (-0.60 ± 0.07, P < .001) and stature (2.91 ± 0.35, P < .001) parameter estimates were significant suggesting children with a more linear body size/shape showed higher GMC performances. Girls tend to outperform boys across time, and PA was not associated with GMC changes. Model 2 fitted the data better, and the PF tests (handgrip, standing long jump, 50-yard dash, and shuttle run) were significantly linked to GMC change. In Model 3, adding the remaining PF tests did not change the order of any factors importance. The greatest GMC changes were achieved by children whose body size/shape has an ectomorphic dominance across the years. Considering that leaner and physically fitter children tended to be more coordinated, physical education should also focus on PF development in components related to muscular strength, speed, agility, and aerobic capacity, along with nutritional education to reduce fat mass.



Scandinavian journal of medicine and science in sports






1594 - 1603


John Wiley & Sons


Chichester, Eng.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, John Wiley & Sons A/S