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The development of motor skills by a physical education programme in preschool children: a preschool-based controlled trial

  • Autori: Giuseppe Battaglia, Garden Tabacchi, Marianna. Alesi, Antonio Palma, Marianna Bellafiore
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2018
  • Tipologia: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
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Purpose: Unlike other European countries, Italian kindergartens do not include the physical education teacher in the school organic personnel. This is frequently associated with the lack of opportunities to perform physical education by preschool children. The aim of this study was to analyse the effects of a specific physical education program (PEP) on the quotient of gross motor development (QGMD) in preschool children. Methods: We conducted a school-based non-randomised controlled trial. It involved 119 children, clustered in a control group (CG, n = 29, age 52.1 ± 8.65 months; height 1.1 ± 0.07 m, body weight 19.2 ± 5.55 kg, body mass index (BMI) 16.9 ± 3.16) and an intervention group (IG, n = 90, age 57.4 ± 9.42 months; height 1.1 ± 0.06 m, body weight 19.3 ± 3.65 kg, BMI 16 ± 1.75). Participants were assessed for locomotor ability and object control skills using the Italian version of GMD test, before and after the experimental period. Results: IG increased the locomotor object-control skills and QGMD by 24.4%, 9.7% and 10.4%, in response to PEP. The mean difference of the QGMD between CG and IG, in the pre and post period, was significantly higher for the IG (11.3 vs 3.2, p = 0.0082). Specific items did not increase in the CG, while a highly significant improvement was observed in all the items in the IG, in response to PEP. Conclusions: The specific PEP improved fundamental motor skills in preschool children. Consistently with the growing research (Zeng et al. 2017), interventions based on scheduled physical exercises ensure health benefits for preschool children. Reference Zeng N, Ayyub M, Sun H, Wen X, Xiang P, Gao Z (2017) Effects of physical activity on motor skills and cognitive development in early childhood: a systematic review. Biomed Res Int 2017:2760716