2017, Volume 9, Issue 2
Fundamental movement skills and weight status in children: A systematic review
Sari Slotte1, Arja Sääkslahti2, Katriina Kukkonen-Harjula3, Pauli Rintala2
1Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä; The UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, Tampere
2Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä
3The UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research in Tampere; South Karelia Social and Health Care District, Lappeenranta
Author for correspondence: Sari Slotte; Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä; The UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, Tampere; email: sari.a.slotte[at]jyu.fi
Obesity has become a major health challenge in children. Fundamental movement skills
(FMS) are suggested to have an important role for being physically active and decreasing
the risk of obesity. This systematic review aimed to give an overview of studies providing
evidence for a relationship between FMS and the weight status in children.
A systematic search of five electronic databases (MEDLINE (PubMed), SportDiscus, ERIC,
PsycInfo and SCOPUS) was conducted in January 2015. Studies examining associations
between FMS and weight status in children aged 3–12 years were included.
The final sample included 12 cross-sectional studies. Seven studies found statistically
significant inverse association between FMS and body mass index (BMI). Three studies
used waist circumference (WC), and significant inverse associations were found in two
of these. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used in one study and significant
association was found between FMS and abdominal and total body fat percentage. One
study, using skinfolds, found no association.
Based on the findings of the 12 studies, the relationship between FMS and weight status
in children aged 3–12 years remains unclear. Developing competency in FMS may have
important health consequences, and more studies are needed in which body composition
is objectively measured with DXA.
Key words: BMI, fundamental movement skills, motor skills, obesity, overweight, weight status