Fundamental movement skills, physical activity and weight status in British school children

  • Lizi Bryant

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Introduction: Fundamental movement skills (FMS) form the prerequisite for sporting and physical activities (Gallahue and Ozmun 2002). Research has attempted to understand this relationship between FMS and physical activity (PA) (Cliff et al., 2009). Method: Following institutional ethical consent for each experimental study, three primary schools from the same electoral wards in Coventry were used throughout this research. Children were assessed subjectively on eight FMS, objectively on two FMS, height, body mass, skinfold thickness, habitual PA and physical self-perception. Additionally children were involved in a six week PA intervention with the aim of teaching and developing children’s FMS and increasing PA and physical self-perception. Statistics Package for Social Science (SPSS) was used to analyse results throughout this research. Results: significant inconsistencies were noted in FMS development throughout age (MANOVA, p<0.05); significant gender bias was noted between specific FMS (MANOVA, p<0.05); significant negative correlations were found between weight status and specific FMS (Pearson’s product, p<0.05); a combination of previous and current FMS mastery best predict current habitual PA level; FMS, PA, weight status and self-perception can be positively influenced via a six week PA intervention. Conclusion: the importance of children mastering FMS at an early age is associated with PA levels during childhood. Furthermore, effective methods of teaching FMS have become apparent and further research should focus on this to influence PE policy and the teachers in the UK. 

Presentation of results Results of the present research have been published in peer reviewed journals and presented at international conferences. Chapter 4 - How does age, gender and weight status affect FMS mastery level in British Primary school children?  Bryant, E., Duncan, M., and Birch, S. (2013) Fundamental Movement Skills and Weight Status in British Primary School Children. European Journal of Sports Science, 14 (7):730-736  Bryant, E., Duncan, M., Birch, S. (2012) The Relationship between Year group, Gender and Weight Status on the Mastery Level of Fundamental Movement Skills. Poster presentation at European College of Sport Science, Bruges (July 2012).  Bryant, E., Duncan, M., Birch, S. (2013) The Effect of Body Mass Index and Body Fat Percentage on Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS). Poster presentation at European Congress of Obesity, Liverpool (May 2013). Chapter 5 - Is current FMS a better predictor of current or future PA levels and weight status in British primary school children?  Bryant, E., James, R., Birch, S., and Duncan, M. (2014) Does prior or current FMS predict future habitual physical activity (PA) levels and weight status? Journal of Sports Science, 32(19):1775-82 Bryant, E., Duncan, M., Birch, S, James, R. (2013) Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) – A 1 year follow up. Oral Presentation at the British Association for Sport and Exercise Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston (September 2013) Chapter 6 - Can FMS mastery be increased through a 6 week physical activity intervention and does that intervention have positive effects on PA and weight status?  Bryant, E., Duncan, M., Birch, S., James, R. (2014) A 6 week intervention to increase Fundamental Movement Skills mastery level and physical activity. Oral Presentation at European College of Sport Science, Amsterdam (July 2014).  Bryant E., Duncan, M. Birch, S. James, R. (2014) Fundamental Movement Skills, Self-Efficacy and Physical Activity in Overweight and Obese Children. Submitted for Poster Presentation at Association for the study of Obesity, Birmingham (September 2014).
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Coventry University
SupervisorSamantha Birch (Supervisor), Michael Duncan (Supervisor) & Rob James (Supervisor)

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