The Effect of Sports Game Intervention on Children's Fundamental Motor Skills: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Children (Basel). 2024 Feb 16;11(2):254. doi: 10.3390/children11020254.


The purpose of the present study was to carry out a systematic review and a meta-analysis determining the effects of sports game intervention on fundamental motor skills in children. This paper presented a systematic review from 2001 to 2020, including the databases of Web of Science, EBSCO, Science, PubMed and Springer. (1) Participants comprised 1701 children age 3-12 years; (2) sports game interventions were investigated; (3) only studies using a Test of Gross Motor Skills assessment were included; (4) RCT were chosen as the study design to assess the impact of sports game interventions on children's motor skills; (5) only culture-based sports game studies in the English and Chinese language were included. Two researchers independently reviewed and assessed the eligibility criteria. Out of the initial 1826 references, 12 studies with a total of 1608 participants were included in the meta-analysis. All interventions were implemented in preschool (kindergarten) or primary school populations, and all studies followed a randomized controlled trial design. The results demonstrated significantly superior development of fundamental motor skills in the intervention groups compared to the control groups (standardized mean difference = 0.30, p < 0.0001). The methodological quality of the included studies ranged from fair to excellent, and no evidence of publication bias was observed. Among them, the 12-week sports game intervention of 35 min each time three to four times a week had a better intervention effect, promoting children's physical health and fundamental motor skills.

Keywords: children; fundamental motor skills; intervention experiment; sports game.

Publication types

  • Review