HALO researchers Dr. Richard Larouche, Charles Boyer, Dr. Mark Tremblay and Dr. Patricia Longmuir are co-authors on a paper, “Physical fitness, motor skill, and physical activity relationships in grade 4 to 6 children,” that was recently published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. Citation details and a summary of the paper are below.

Richard Larouche, Charles Boyer, Mark Stephen Tremblay, Patricia Longmuir. Physical fitness, motor skill, and physical activity relationships in grade 4 to 6 children. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2014, 39(5): 553-559, 10.1139/apnm-2013-0371

ABSTRACT: The present study sought to quantify the relationships among physical activity (PA), health-related fitness, and motor skill in children (grades 4 to 6), and to determine whether specific tests of fitness or motor skill are independently associated with objectively measured PA level. Four hundred and ninety-one students (56.4% female) wore a Digi-Walker pedometer for 7 consecutive days. Standardized protocols were used to assess health-related fitness (body mass index percentile, waist circumference, 20-m shuttle run, plank, handgrip, and trunk flexibility). Motor skill was evaluated using a validated obstacle course. Pearson correlations (with Holm adjustments for multiple comparisons) initially assessed associations among PA, health-related fitness, and motor skill. Multi-variable linear regression was used to determine which factors were significantly associated with daily step counts, while adjusting for gender, age, testing season, and socioeconomic status. Step counts were significantly correlated with predicted aerobic power (r = 0.30), obstacle course time (r = −0.27), obstacle course score (r = 0.20), plank isometric torso endurance (r = 0.16), and handgrip strength (r = 0.12), but not with waist circumference (r = −0.10), trunk flexibility (r = 0.10), or overweight status (ρ = −0.06). In the multi-variable model, predicted aerobic power, obstacle course time, testing season, gender, and the predicted aerobic power by gender interaction were significantly associated with step counts, explaining 16.4% of the variance. Specifically, the relationship between predicted aerobic power and step counts was stronger in girls. These findings suggest that aerobic fitness and motor skill are independently associated with children’s PA. Future longitudinal studies should evaluate whether interventions to enhance aerobic fitness and motor skill could enhance daily PA among children of this age.