Background: Higher levels of actual and perceived motor competence are purported to lead to participation in physical activity (PA). Whereas considerable work has been published regarding motor and perceived competence and body mass index (BMI), much less is known about the association of these variables considering PA and engagement in physical education settings—the focus of the present study. Method: In 600 children (aged 3–10 y), PA during physical education lessons, locomotor skills, object control skills, perceived competence, and BMI (study 1) were assessed. In a subsample of 149 children, PA, engagement, and health-related ﬁtness were assessed (study 2). Results: Structural equation model showed that in study 1, locomotor skills were the strongest variable in the early years, and object control skills were the strongest later, in explained PA. The regression analysis, in study 2, showed that BMI, object control skills, and engagement were signiﬁcantly associated with PA and that appropriate motor engagement was the best predictor of PA. Conclusion: The authors extended previous research by providing evidence that motor competence varies across childhood in explaining participation in PA, and appropriate motor engagement plays a critical role in being active during lessons and was the strongest predictor of PA. BMI and self-perception were not signiﬁcant in the models.
- motor behavior
- motor skills
- nutritional status
- perceived competence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Valentini, N. C., Carvalho Nobre, G., Santayana de Souza, M., & Duncan, M. (2020). Are BMI, Self-Perceptions, Motor Competence, Engagement, and Fitness Related to Physical Activity in Physical Education Lessons? Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 17(5), 493-500. https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2019-0532