Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Motor Skill Development of Children at Risk for Obesity

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Motor Skill Development of Children at Risk for Obesity

Article excerpt

With the trend in obesity unabated among children (CDC, 2001), more local (i.e. schools) and state agencies either initiate or legislate programs to increase frequency and intensity of exercise. However, children are unlikely to indulge in repetitive (cardiovascular) activity typically incorporated in weight-loss programs designed for adults. The mediating effect of skill proficiency toward persistence in regular exercise (Malina, 1991) has been largely ignored. To achieve self-motivated adherence, educators must equip children with the necessary tools to participate in meaningful activity and sport. This study describes the fundamental motor skills of a group of children identified as at-risk of being overweight/obese and explores the relationship between body composition and motor performance by answering the following questions: Do the children exhibit motor skill performance at age-expected levels? Are there differences between genders in skill performance? Is there a relationship between body composition and motor performance? Participants (17 boys and 17 girls, M age = 9.87 years) were children from minority and low-income families participating in an after-school program designed to educate the children about physical activity and nutrition. Fundamental motor skills were assessed (Test of Gross Motor Development Two, TGMD-2, Ulrich, 2000) by videotaping performance of six locomotor (run, hop, leap, jump, slide and gallop) and six object-control skills (catch, throw, bat, kick, roll, and dribble). …

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