Changes in motor skill and fitness measures among children with high and low motor competence: a five-year longitudinal study

J Sci Med Sport. 2008 Apr;11(2):155-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2007.02.012. Epub 2007 Jun 12.


Children with low motor competence (LMC) are less able to participate fully in many sports and recreational activities typically enjoyed by their well-coordinated peers. Poor fitness outcomes have been reported for these children, although previous studies have not tracked these outcomes over time. In this study, 19 children (8 girls and 11 boys) with LMC aged between 5 and 7years were matched by age and gender with 19 children with high motor competence (HMC). Six fitness (body composition and cardiovascular endurance) and motor skill (sprint run, standing broad jump and balance) measures were repeated for each group once a year for five years. For each year of the study, the LMC groups performed less well on all measures than the HMC groups. Changes over time were significantly different between groups for cardiovascular endurance, 50-m run and balance, but not for body composition, overhand throw or standing broad jump. Between the two groups, performances were significantly different for all measures, except body composition. These findings confirm the impact of LMC on fitness measures and skill performances over time.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Motor Skills Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Motor Skills*
  • Physical Fitness*