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Motor skills in association with physical activity, sedentary time, body fat, and day care attendance in 5-6-year-old children-The STEPS Study

journal contribution
posted on 13.07.2018, 00:00 authored by Tanja Matarma, Hanna Lagström, Saija Hurme, Tuija H Tammelin, Janne Kulmala, Lisa BarnettLisa Barnett, Pasi Koski
PURPOSE: This study examined how motor skills are associated with physical activity (PA), sedentary time, body fat, and day care attendance among young children. Also, the motor skills of healthy weight children were compared to those who were overweight or obese. METHODS: The study population consisted of five to six years old children (n = 111; 45 boys) who participated in the longitudinal STEPS Study carried out in Southwest Finland in 2013-2014. Motor skills were measured with the Bruininks-Oseretsky test, second edition (BOT-2) including fine manual control, manual coordination, body coordination, and strength and agility. Moderate-to-vigorous intensity PA (MVPA) and sedentary time were objectively measured with hip-worn accelerometers. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated based on measured weight and height. Body fat percentage (BF%) was measured using segmental multifrequency bio impedance analysis. Day care attendance was measured with parental questionnaires. Linear regression analyses were adjusted by age, sex, and parental education. RESULTS: Day care attendance was positively associated with body coordination and strength and agility. Lower BF% in girls was associated with higher strength and agility scores. There were no associations between manual coordination or fine manual control and the explanatory variables. Objectively measured MVPA and sedentary time showed no associations with motor skills. Overweight children had significantly lower scores in all motor skill composites (P < 0.05) than healthy weight children, except in fine manual control where the association was non-significant (P = 0.202). CONCLUSIONS: Early prevention of overweight and obesity may be of importance and day care attendance may be beneficial for motor skill development.



Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports






2668 - 2676




Chichester, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, John Wiley & Sons A/S