Fundamental Movement Skills ‘Mastery’ and Habitual Physical Activity in British Primary School Children

  • Luke Carl Baker

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research


    Declines in physical activity (PA) and increases in obesity levels in children have prompted increasing interest in understanding children’s PA behaviour. The mastery of fundamental movement skills (FMS) is a key factor in the promotion of lifelong physical activity and research has reported there is a relationship between FMS mastery and habitual PA in children. However, data are equivocal and these findings remain inconclusive. The aim of
    this study was to examine the relationship between FMS and habitual PA in primary school children, looking at the various correlates associated with FMS such as age, gender and weight status. Following ethics approval, parental informed consent and child assent, 264 children from years 1-6 in a West Midlands primary school volunteered for the study. Children underwent assessment of 7 FMS (sprint, side-gallop, hop, jump, catch, throw,
    balance) using established criteria (Booth et al. 1997). Data was recorded and video clips subsequently analysed (Quintic Software, Coventry) against NSW performance criteria (New South Wales Health, 2003) to determine percentage mastery of each FMS. Correlation coefficients were used to examine the relationship between PA and FMS. A series of 2 (gender) by 6 (year group) by 2 (weight status) ANOVAs (Analysis of variance) were used to
    examine differences. If differences were found Bonferroni post hoc tests were used to allocate where these differences were PASW (version 17) was used for all analysis and alpha level was set a priori at P = 0.05. A non-significant relationship was found between PA and FMS. Significant gender main effects were found with total FMS; with boys mastering manipulative skills more strongly than girls. A Year on Year increase in total FMS was found
    between Year’s 1 and 3 at which point they plateau. These data provide focus for practitioners and scientists to target interventions to increase FMS mastery in primary school children.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorMichael Duncan (Supervisor) & Samantha Birch (Supervisor)

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