Motor competence deficit in urban-area Brazilian children based on chronological age
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have confirmed that there is a developmental delay in the fundamental motor skills (FMS) of Brazilian children based on various samples. However, none of these previous studies included a comprehensive and direct diagnosis of motor competence levels of children in the urban areas of Brazil, which tend to encompass a wide range of socioeconomic and cultural environments. AIM: The purpose of this study was to directly assess children’s FMS competence levels in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. METHOD: Three hundred and eighty-three children (ages 6, 8, and 10) from elementary schools in all five geographic regions of São Paulo participated in this study. The FMS of children were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-Second Edition. RESULTS: The results indicated that children from all five geographic areas of São Paulo demonstrated low competence levels (below the 15th percentile) across all FMS. Moreover, the observed motor competence deficit increased with age. Children’s competence levels were classified as poor in 6-year-old children and very poor in 8- and 10-year-old children. CONCLUSION: The developmental delay in motor competence is associated with decreased levels of health-enhancing physical activity, physical fitness, executive function, and perceived competence and increased obesity.
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