The Association between Physical Activity, Motor Skills and School Readiness in 4–5-Year-Old Children in the Northeast of England

Dan Jones, Alison Innerd, Emma L. Giles, Liane B. Azevedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The benefits of being physically active, possessing good motor skills and being school-ready are well documented in early years. Nevertheless, the association between physical activity and motor skills with school readiness remains unknown. Therefore, the aim of this cross-sectional study was to explore the relationship between these variables. We collected data on 326 four to five-year-old children from the northeast of England. Children’s PA (ActiGraph GT1M accelerometers), motor skills (MABC-2 and the locomotor section of the TGMD-2) and school readiness (EYFSP) were measured, and associations between these variables were examined. This study found that, on average, children engaged in more MVPA (99.6 min/day) and less sedentary behaviour (261 min/day) than documented in previous research. Motor-skill scores were consistent with existing literature in early years. A higher percentage of children in the sample (79.6%) achieved school readiness than the average for England. Regression analyses found that motor-skill variables and sedentary behaviour were significantly predictive of school readiness, whereas physical activity was not. Motor skills and sedentary behaviour significantly predict school readiness. Therefore, promoting motor skills and developmentally appropriate sedentary behaviour activities may increase the number of children achieving school readiness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11931
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2021

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