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The relationship between motor timing, reaction time and academic achievements in primary school children.

  • Autori: Bellafiore M, Battaglia G, La Mantia S, Thomas E, Patti A, Bianco A, Palma A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2017
  • Tipologia: Abstract in atti di convegno pubblicato in rivista
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Aim: Recent studies have reported a correlation between motor skills and school performance, which is different according to the type of motor ability or academic subject examined (Fernandes et al, 2016; Bellafiore et al., 2016). The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between motor timing, reaction time and achievements in mathematics and Italian in sedentary and active children. Methods: Seventy-eight children (8.55±1.43 years old, 28.93±5.74 kg weight, 126.54±4.74 cm height and 19.30±2.62 kg/m2 BMI) were randomly recruited by a primary school of Palermo, 68% of them practiced a sport outside the academic hours. The motor timing was measured with the finger and foot tapping test, while the reaction time with the ruler drop test. The outcomes in mathematics and Italian were collected at the end of the first four months of academic year. For parametric parameters the differences were examined with T-test; while for non-parametric parameters Mann-Whitney test was used and they considered significant with p<0.05. The correlations between motor skills and school performance were analyzed by Pearson's test and r was considered significant with p<0.05. Results: Active children showed higher academic results in mathematics and Italian than sedentary ones. The outcomes of motor timing and reaction time were better in active than sedentary children. We did not find any correlation between the reaction time and the performance in Italian and mathematics. Conversely, there was a significant and negative correlation between the finger and foot timing and the achievements of both subjects. Conclusions: These results suggest the training of motor rhythm might be an exciting and enjoyable strategy to ease the learning of mathematics and Italian in the primary schools. Reference Fernandes VR et al. (2016) Motor coordination correlates with academic achievement and cognitive function in children. Front Psychol. 7:318. Bellafiore M et al. (2016) Effects of a ludic-motor program on motor development and early literacy skills in preschool children. IJAE 121:58.