Clumsy children can be as aerobic as their peers with better motor skills, according to a new Finnish study. The results are based on research carried out at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of JyvÃ¤skylÃ¤ and at the Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland, and they were published in Translational sports medicine.
Aerobic fitness does not go hand in hand with motor skills
According to the general perception, fit children also have good motor skills, while poor aerobic capacity is considered to be a link between poor motor skills and being overweight. This perception is based on studies whose methods fail to distinguish between the roles of aerobic capacity and body fat content as risk factors for poor motor skills and overweight.
“Our study clearly demonstrated that aerobic fitness is not related to motor skills when body composition is properly taken into account,” says Eero Haapala, Ph.D., of the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences of the University of JyvÃ¤skylÃ¤.
Furthermore, aerobic fitness was not strongly associated with overweight or obesity. Therefore, it appears that the role of poor aerobic fitness as a risk factor for poor motor skills and excess weight. has been greatly exaggerated. “
The development of motor skills can be supported
This study did not examine the role of exercise in the development of motor skills, but previous studies have shown that a range of exercises, varying in terms of motor challenges and intensity, contribute to the development of motor skills. motor skills, regardless of aerobic fitness and body fat. content. Higher levels of physical activity and less sedentary behavior can also protect against the development of excess weight.
âThe key message of our study is that even an unfit child can be endowed with good motor skills and that a more awkward child’s heart can be just as fit as their more skilled fellow,â says Haapala. “In addition, high levels of varied physical activity and reduced sedentary behavior are essential for the development of motor skills and the prevention of excessive weight gain from childhood.”
The study examined associations between aerobic capacity, body fat content, and motor skills in 332 children aged 7 to 11. Aerobic capacity was measured by maximal ergometer cycling test and body composition with bioimpedance and DXA devices. Motor skills were measured by standard methods.
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