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Good motor skills may enhance reading skills in obese children 

March 20, 2018

University of Eastern Finland


Excess body weight has been linked to poor academic performance in children in several previous studies. A new study now shows that a high body fat percentage is associated with poor reading skills in 6- to 8-year-old boys. However, these associations are largely explained by poor motor skills.

A systematic review of randomized and case-controlled trials investigating the effectiveness of school-based motor skill interventions in 3- to 12-year-old children


Twenty-three studies met the inclusion criteria. These studies encompassed interventions targeted at training: fundamental movement skills, handwriting, fine, and global motor skills. The majority of these studies reported beneficial impact on motor function specifically, but some interventions also assessed subsequent impacts on activity and participation (but not well-being). A number of the studies had methodological shortcomings that means these results need to be interpreted with caution.


Schools appear to be an effective setting for motor skill interventions, but the extent of benefit likely depends on the type of intervention. Moreover, confirmation is needed as to whether benefits extend beyond motor function into everyday activities, participation, and well-being. Future research should include follow-up measures to assess the longer term efficacy of school-based interventions.

How Are Motor Skills Linked to Children’s School

Performance and Academic Achievement?

Claire E. Cameron,1 Elizabeth A. Cottone,2 William M. Murrah,2 and David W. Grissmer2


1State University of New York at Buffalo, and 2University of Virginia

© 2016 The Authors

Child Development Perspectives © 2016 The Society for Research in Child Development

DOI: 10.1111/cdep.12168ABSTRACT—Children need a range of skills to transition

successfully to formal schooling. In early childhood classrooms,

children must master their fine and gross motor

skills. In this article, we review the evidence that links

motor skills to diverse school outcomes, then describe

three sets of cognitive processes—motor coordination,

executive function, and visuospatial skills—that are

tapped by motor assessments. We then use these processes

to explain how motor skills are implicated in children’s

self-regulation and their emergent literacy and numeracy.

We conclude by encouraging theoretical and methodological

approaches to clarify the mechanisms that implicate

motor skills in school performance and achievement.

Impact of a multicomponent physical activity intervention on

cognitive performance: The MOVI‐KIDS study

Received: 9 April 2018 | Revised: 13 November 2018 | Accepted: 4 January 20191Social and Health Care Research

Center, Universidad de Castilla‐La Mancha,

Cuenca, Spain

2Faculty of Education, Universidad de

Castilla‐La Mancha, Ciudad Real, Spain

3Faculty of Nursing, Universidad de

Castilla‐La Mancha, Cuenca, Spain

4Faculty of Education, Universidad de

Castilla‐La Mancha, Cuenca, Spain

5Facultad de Ciencias de la

Salud, Universidad Aut.noma de Chile,

Santiago, ChileIntroduction: This study examined the impact of a multicomponent physical activity

(PA) intervention (MOVI‐KIDS) on improving cognition in schoolchildren. This

paper also analyzed the mediator role of motor fitness between MOVI‐KIDS and


Methods: Propensity score analysis of data from a cluster randomized controlled

trial (MOVI‐KIDS study). This analysis including 240 5‐7 years old children from

nine schools in the provinces of Cuenca and Ciudad Real, Spain. MOVI‐KIDS program

consisted of: (a) three weekly after‐school sessions of recreational non‐competitive

PA lasting 60 minutes during one academic year, (b) educational materials

for parents and teachers, and (c) school playground modifications. Changes in cognition

(logical reasoning, verbal factor, numerical factor, spatial factor, and general

intelligence) were measured. A propensity score cross‐cluster matching procedure

and mediation analysis (Hayes’s PROCESS macro) were conducted.

Results: All cognitive variables pre‐post mean changes were significantly higher

(P ≤ 0.05) in children from intervention schools than those from control schools (effect

size ranged from 0.33 to 1.48). The effect of the intervention on the spatial factor

and general intelligence was partially mediated by motor fitness (indirect effect

= 0.92, 95% CI: 0.36; 1.65; and indirect effect = 1.21, 95% CI: 0.06; 2.62,


Conclusions: This study shows that a one‐school‐year multicomponent intervention

consisting of a recreational non‐competitive PA program, educational materials for

parents and teachers, and school playground modifications improved the cognition

of first‐grade children. Further, our results suggest that the effect of the intervention

on cognition was mediated by changes in motor fitness.

Movement and Cognition

The relationship between gross motor skills, executive functioning, and academic achievement in children with learning disorders (2014)

Marieke Westendorp


Link naar dit proefschrift 

Individual differences in basic numerical skills:

The role of executive functions and motor skills

Venera Gashaj ⇑, Nicole Oberer, Fred W. Mast, Claudia M. Roebers

Department of Psychology, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland


Center for Cognition, Learning, and Memory, 3012 Bern, Switzerland

a b s t r a c t

The aim of the current study was to explore individual differences

in basic numerical skills in a normative sample of 151 kindergarteners

(mean age = 6.45 years). Whereas previous research

claims a substantial link between executive functions and basic

numerical skills, motor abilities have been put forward to explain

variance in numerical skills. Regarding the current study, these

two assumptions have been combined, revealing interesting

results. Namely, executive functions (inhibition, switching, and

visuospatial working memory) were found to relate to symbolic

numerical skills, and motor skills (gross and fine motor skills)

showed a significant correlation to nonsymbolic numerical skills.

Suggesting that motor skills and executive functions are associated

with basic numerical skills could lead to potential avenues for

interventions in certain disorders or disabilities such as nonverbal

learning disability, developmental dyscalculia, and developmental

coordination disorder.

Bewegend leren in de klas 

Marijke Mullender-Wijnsma, Esther Hartman, Marck de Greeff & Chris Visscher

Centrum voor Bewegingswetenschappen, UMCG/Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Simone Doolaard & Roel Bosker

GION/Onderwijskunde, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Al springend leren rekenen en spellen: het is een innovatieve manier van leren die het beeld van stilzittende kinderen in de klas doorbreekt. Fysiek actieve reken- en taallessen kunnen een effectieve manier zijn om schoolprestaties van kinderen te verbeteren. Bovendien dragen de lessen bij aan de dagelijkse hoeveelheid beweging die kinderen nodig hebben. 


Effect of W-sitting on Standing Posture of Preschool Age Children

July 2015Rigakuryoho Kagaku 30(3):429-432

DOI: 10.1589/rika.30.429




The effect on the standing posture of healthy infants w-sitting on a daily basis was investigated in this study. [Subjects] The guardians of 39 healthy infants aged 3–6 year were interviewed about their sitting posture. [Methods] The angle formed by the horizontal line and the line connecting the two points of the iliac spine and the anterior superior iliac spine was measured as the pelvic tilt angle. Hip rotation was classified into five groups using posture analysis. [Results] In children exhibiting w-sitting, an association was found between pelvic forward tilt and hip internal rotation. [Conclusion] With daily w-sitting, a standing posture exhibiting hip internal rotation with forward pelvis tilt is easily adopted even by children showing routine development. This may increase the risk of orthopedic disease, damage to the anterior cruciate ligament, or back pain in the growth process





1Chewang Doma Bhutia, Ph. D scholar, Pondicherry University, Kalapet- 605014 India. E-mail: .

2Dr. Usha Sujit Nair, Associate Professor, SAI, LNCPE, Kariavattom, Trivandrum- 695581 Kerala, India. E-mail:  

Result: Twelve weeks intervention physical activities for the experimental group made significant difference in all the variables of the study, but not in case of control group. Conclusion: Hence, it can be concluded that physical activity programme in early childhood has a positive effect in development of fundamental motors skills and promoting more self-awareness and independence.

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