Association between body mass index, physical activity and motor competence in children: Moderation analysis by different environmental contexts

Daniel Rocha, Javiera Alarcón Aguilar, Tulio Martins, Carla Hardman, Rodrigo Antunes Lima, Michael Duncan, Marcos Andre Moura dos Santos, Mauro Barros

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    1 Citation (Scopus)
    6 Downloads (Pure)


    Background: Although the association between body mass index (BMI), physical activity (PA) and motor competence (MC) has been widely investigated, the influence of different environmental contexts is not well defined. Aim: To analyse the relationship between BMI, PA and MC and the moderating role of the environmental context. Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional study was performed with 668 children (318 boys) aged 5–7 years (north-eastern district–Brazil). MC (Körper koordination test fur Kinder; KTK), BMI and PA (parent reporting) were assessed. To classify three contexts of the environment a variable was created based on the presence of a sports court in school and/or environment for play or sports practice out of school. Multilevel mixed-effects linear regressions, interaction test and estimation of coefficients in moderation analysis were used. Results: BMI (β = −2.93; p <.01) and age (β = 19.02; p <.01) were associated, and PA was not associated (β = 0.07; p =.05) with MC. The strength of the association between BMI and MC changed based on the environmental contexts. The better the environment context the weaker the association between BMI and MC (β = −2.93, p <.01 to β = −2.38, p =.33 to β = 0.26, p =.94). Conclusions: The association between BMI and MC is moderated by environmental contexts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)417-424
    Number of pages8
    JournalAnnals of Human Biology
    Issue number5
    Early online date2 Jul 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in XXXX on 02/07/2020, available online:

    Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


    • Child
    • body mass index
    • environment
    • motor skill
    • physical activity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Epidemiology
    • Physiology
    • Ageing
    • Genetics
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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