Ali, A., Pigou, D., Clarke, L., & McLachlan, C. (2017). Literature review on motor skill and physical activity in preschool children in New Zealand. Advances in Physical Education, 7, 10–26. https://doi.org/10.4236/ape.2017.71002
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10927
Children’s physical activity levels have decreased significantly over the past 20 - 30 years, coinciding with obesity rates reaching epidemic levels. There is little research into typically developing preschool (birth to 5 year-olds) child- ren’s physical activity, with the majority of research focusing on children at risk of motor skill or neurological deficiencies. This review examines current research into young children’s development, especially motor development and physical activity, the effectiveness of intervention programmes for pro- moting children’s physical development and the various methods used to as- sess physical development. A decrease in children’s physical activity levels has coincided with an increase in obesity rates. Further research is needed to de- termine culturally and contextually appropriate and effective interventions for preschool children. Areas for further research include preschool children’s physical activity, particularly in regards to movement guidelines and require- ments for this age-group and ways to overcome potential barriers to meeting physical activity requirements. Young children’s physical activity and motor skill proficiency may be an important predictor of later-life physically active behaviors. Physical literacy and physical activity interventions within early childhood education could potentially support academic skills as well as phy- sical skills and behaviors.
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