Fundamental motor skills (FMS) are the building blocks to specialist movements that are used throughout one’s life in all forms of physical activity (PA) and sports involvement. FMS are acquired through a combination of active play and structured exercise programs. The preschool years have been identified as the critical time to develop FMS Active children experience health benefits such as decreased systolic blood pressure, depressive symptoms, weight gain, and improved concentration, academic performance and bone mineral density. Links have been identified between FMS proficiency and increased PA levels. This study aims to develop and deliver a structured FMS program for preschool aged children (age 3-5 years) in a childcare setting and determine whether it is associated with a change in PA levels and anthropometric measures. A randomized cluster control design will be employed. PLAYFun is a 12-week, games based FMS program aimed to provide children with the chance to learn, practice and develop their FMS within a preschool setting. Participants will be recruited from 4 childcare centres and will be eligible if they are aged 3-5 years and do not have developmental delay/chronic conditions that inhibit participation in PA. Centres will be randomized using concealed allocation. The control group will continue to receive usual childcare play activities while the intervention group will receive a supervised FMS intervention 2-5 sessions/week for 30 minutes duration in addition to usual childcare activities. Outcome measures will be measured pre-, post and 12-weeks post intervention. Intention to treat analysis will be used and effects on the primary outcomes will be calculated by difference between mean group scores accounting for baseline scores. The authors believe the childcare setting may provide the ideal environment to emphasize the development of movement patterns that will be used throughout life and potentially enhance participation in physical activity.
Engel, A., Broderick, C. R., Ward, R., & Parmenter, B. J. (2018). Study Protocol: The Effect of a Fundamental Motor Skills Intervention in a Preschool Setting on Fundamental Motor Skills and Physical Activity: A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial. Clinical Pediatrics: Open Access, 3(1), 1-7. . https://doi.org/10.4172/2572-0775.1000129