- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Being physically active plays an essential role in a child's physical development. While there is ample evidence for a positive association between physical activity (PA) and motor skills in children, the question of how PA should be implemented to optimally foster motor skill proficiency is less clear. To address this gap, the current longitudinal study compared four groups of children with different patterns of leisure-time PA engagement—namely children engaging in either structured PA, unstructured PA, a combination of structured and unstructured PA, or no PA at all—with respect to their gross and fine motor skill development. Results of repeated measures mixed modeling procedures revealed that engaging in structured PA—either exclusively or in combination with unstructured PA—is beneficial for children's gross motor development, whereas engaging in unstructured PA lacks such effectiveness. As to fine motor skills, a beneficial tendency of structured PA was observed as well. Hence, PA seems to be beneficial for motor skill development particularly when implemented in a formal setting with guided opportunities for practice. In conclusion, regularly engaging in structured PA constitutes a promising way to promote motor skills and support motor development over the long term. Show more
Journal / seriesPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Pages / Article No.
SubjectPhysical activity; Structured leisure activity; Gross motor skills; Fine motor skills; Children; Longitudinal; Mixed modeling
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