Importance of exercise and motor fitness in 11–13 year old primary school children in liechtenstein
University of Teacher Education Central Switzerland
Several studies have shown that the behavioral pattern in exercise and motor fitness of children has changed dramatically in the last two generations. Because childhood is a very important period of life, the promotion of physical activity (PA) has been identified as a major public health priority. Therefore the aim of this study was to observe the fitness level and the importance of PA among 5th grade pupils in Liechtenstein. This cross-sectional study was carried out from March to June 2007. A total of 313 children (aged 11.8 ± 0.6 years) were randomly selected. PA and socio-demographic data were acquired with a short questionnaire, the motor fitness with a test battery, consisting of eight items. In summary, the physical performance of all the children is satisfactory, but with obvious deficits in coordination, flexibility and basic motor skills. Children’s general fitness was significantly higher among those, who were members of sports clubs than non members (p<.05). A high level of PA in free time was associated with better motor fitness (p < .001). According to other studies, this survey illustrates the controversial findings of a high participation in sports of school children in their free time activities but at the same time increasing motor disorders.
Key words: motor fitness / primary school children
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012
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