Fundamental motor skills in 9-10 year old boys and girls: a cross-sectional study

Francesco Casolo, Christel Galvani, Maurizio Mondoni, Gabriella Frattini

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INTRODUCTION Development of fundamental motor skills (FMS) in childhood is considered an important goal during the growing-up process. Till a few years ago it was guaranteed and performed throught a natural and active life style and today we can see a motor impoverishment related to the principal gross motor abilities . The advent of electronic static games, the diminution of movement opportunities for our children and the progressive reduction of free-time are the causes of this situation. Today the scholastic motor activities (practiced for less than two hours a week) are not enough to guarantee quantity and quality of motor development in childhood. The study shows how since the late 1985s one can see an impoverishment in all the considered FMS and in particular in running, high and long Jumping and power throwing. METHODS In the year 1985 a test battery was submitted to 1233 (620 boys 613 girls) italian students aged 9 and 10 (GR1). The same test battery was proposed to 985 (472 boys 513 girls) same aged students in 1996 ( GR2) and 988 (502 boys 486 girls) students in 2008 (GR3).The data have been collected through the scholastic system by submitting tests during physical education (PE) lessons after a 20 minutes warm-up. Test battery: Speed run (mt.40), Endurance run(mt.600), Long Jump , High jump, precision throw ( Basket drought) and power throw (two hand throwing of a 1 Kg medical ball), twine-skip and pole-climb. RESULTS In the two periods 1985-1996 (P1) and 1996-2008 (P2) we have been noticed differences in the weight, in the height and in the BMI. Today boys and girls are taller and heavier. The increase of these two dimensions in the children morphology is predominant for the increase in body mass, therefore we can also notice a marked increase in BMI. All data has been compared with NCHS Growth Charts (NCHS 2000). In all tests we noticed a loss of ability in every group (9,10 ages boys and 9,10 ages girls). Gaps are more evident in endurance and power abilities than in precision tasks. About the gender, these differences are more evident in the girls (tab 2 : diminution of success in P1 = 10,34% and in P2 = 7,41%) than the in boys (tab 1 : diminution of success in P1 = 9,77 % and in P2 = 6,47% ). Differences among the participants according to their ages and birth date were analysed with Pearson’s Chi-square test and statistical significance have been confirmed by the O.R. (odds ratio) values. DISCUSSION Also for the age 9-10 the increase of static games, the disappearance of the old courtyard games, the reduction of motor activities in scholastic period are the causes that, in our opinion, have led to a reduction of FMS . To solve these problems, the following actions seem mandatory: 1)Increase the time inside the scholastic system devoted to physical activities;2) Direct teaching and didactics strategies to activities involving gross-motor abilities;3)Foster the promotion of active politics for the safeguard of the natural environment; 4) Support a closer interaction and collaboration between scholastic system, out-of-school sportive system and families, in order to enhance a better lifestyle necessary to preserve children health.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] Fundamental motor skills in 9-10 year old boys and girls: a cross-sectional study
Lingua originaleItalian
Titolo della pubblicazione ospitePromoting sport for all :benefits and strategies for the 21st century. Book of abstract
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2010
Durata: 14 giu 201017 giu 2010




  • 9-10 YEARS
  • Fundamental Motor Skills

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