Does the gross motor development of Romanian and Hungarian 6 - 7-year-old children depend on the degree of obesity?

Andor H Molnára,, Graţiela Flavia Deakb, Vasile Liviu Andreic, Viorel Petru Ardeleanc, Jaromir Simonekd, Nora Halmovád, Beáta Dobaye, Ágnes Virág Nagya, Beáta Vária, Kornélia Orbána, Csaba Fintora, Tímea Ocskóa, Róbert Szásza, Ferenc Győria, István Alattyányif, Rita Csetrekif, Iuliana Boros-Bálintb

aUniversity of Szeged, Institute of PE and Sports Science, 10 Hattyas str., Szeged, 6725, Hungary
bBabeş-Bolyai University, Faculty of PE and Sport, 7 Pandurilor str., Cluj-Napoca, 400000, Romania
cAurel Vlaicu University, Faculty of PE and Sport, 2 Elena Drăgoi str., Arad, 310330, Romania
dConstantine the Philosopher University, Department of PE and Sport, 4 Dražovska str., Nitra, 94974, Slovakia
eJ. Selye University, Department of PE and Sports, 3322 Bratislavská str., Komarno, 94501, Slovakia
fFoundation for the Sustainable Development of our Society, 22.2.C. Alföldi str., Szeged, 6725, Hungary


Introduction and aim: In Hungary (HU) there are everyday PE lessons (5 per week), while there are fewer PE lessons (2 per week) in Romania (RO). We compare RO and HU children who started to attend primary school in the last semester and we hypothesize that more regular PE lessons have more positive effect on motor development due to the improvement in the degree of obesity.

Methods: 361 children from both countries and genders (RO: 132 boys and 116 girls; HU: 57 boys and 56 girls) participated in the study. They were classified by BMI percentiles to lean (L; percentile was less than 25%), normal (N; percentile was between 25.1 and 74.9%) and overweight/obese (OOB; percentile was more than 75%) categories. Their motor development was measured by Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (TGMD-2) which contains locomotor (run, gallop, hop, leap, horizontal jump, slide) and object control (striking a stationary ball, stationary dribble, catch, kick, overhand throw, underhand roll) tasks.

Results: The rate of L or OOB pupils was similar in both countries. There were no differences between the BMI categories in either countries in the results of different locomotor and object control tasks. N and OOB RO pupils achieved higher scores in hop than HU children in the same BMI categories. In the overall results of locomotor tasks L HU pupils were significantly better than OOB HU children and L RO pupils achieved higher points than N or OOB RO children. N or OOB RO pupils’ overall locomotor scores were higher than HU children in the same BMI categories. The N RO children’s results of catch were lower than N HU pupils’ results. In the overall results of object control tasks, there were no differences among the BMI categories or the countries. In the cumulate outcome of TGMD-2, the OOB HU pupils’ scores were lower than the L or N HU children’s scores. The OOB RO pupils achieved higher cumulate TGMD-2 scores than the OOB HU children.

Conclusions and further perspectives: Our results seem to prove that the OOB children’s motor skills are weaker. We detected a few differences between RO and HU pupils’ motor development, but we would like to perform the same examinations once in the following semesters among the same children. Now we reported the results of the first measurement period. We suppose that the differences would be more remarkable when the pupils spend more time in the system of everyday PE or 2 PE lessons per week.

Keywords: motor development; degree of obesity; 6 – 7-year-old pupils

Full paper available for download.

Andor H Molnar - ICU 2019 - revised
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Fri, 12/20/2019 - 13:36
AH Molnár1, VP Ardelean2, ÁV Nagy1, B Vári1, K Orbán1, Cs Fintor1, T Ocskó1, R Szász