OBJECTIVES. Youth with better motor abilities may find it easier to be physically active and may be more likely to engage in physical activity compared with peers with poorer motor competence. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between motor proficiency and physical activity in 8- to 10-year-old children. Self-efficacy toward physical activity was also assessed.
METHODS. Sixty-five children (34 girls and 31 boys) were studied. Children's physical activity was assessed by the Manufacturing Technologies Incorporated/Computer Science and Applications Incorporated model 7164 accelerometer, and their motor proficiency was determined by the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency. The Children's Self-Perceptions of Adequacy in and Predilection for Physical Activity scale measured children's self-perceptions of adequacy in performing and desire to participate in physical activities.
RESULTS. Children's motor proficiency was positively associated with activity counts and percentage of time in moderate and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity and inversely related to percentage of time in sedentary activity. Children in the greatest quartile of motor proficiency were the most physically active compared with children with lower levels of motor proficiency who had similar levels of physical activity. Children with greater standardized BMI were less physically active, more sedentary, and had poorer motor proficiency compared with children with a lower standardized BMI. Children's Self-Perceptions of Adequacy in and Predilection for Physical Activity scores were positively associated with Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency standard score for boys. Children's motor proficiency explained an additional 8.7% of the variance in physical activity in multiple linear regression after controlling for factors that may influence physical activity.
CONCLUSIONS. Motor proficiency is positively associated with physical activity and inversely associated with sedentary activity in children, but there may be a threshold of motor proficiency above which children may be the most physically active. Children's motor proficiency may be an appropriate target for increasing physical activity in youth.