Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Poor Motor Performance Linked to Poor Academic Skills

Looking for research to justify school based physical or occupational therapy services during the early school years?  Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise published research on 174 Finnish children grades 1-3 that investigated the relationship between cardiovascular fitness, motor skills and reading/arithmetic skills. 

The following results were reported:
  • children who performed poorly in agility, speed and manual dexterity tests and had poor overall motor performance in the first grade had lower reading and arithmetic test scores in grades 1–3 than children with better performance in motor tests. 
  • children in the lowest motor performance third had poorer reading and arithmetic test scores than children in the other thirds. 
  • the associations were stronger in boys than girls. 
  • surprisingly cardiovascular fitness was not related to academic skills.
The researchers concluded that motor performance and movement skills are important for children's school success during the early years of school.  

Reference:  University of Eastern Finland. Poor motor performance linked to poor academic skills in the first school years Retrieved from the web on 10/28/2013 at http://www.uef.fi/en/-/motoriikaltaan-huonommilla-lapsilla-on-heikompi-luku-ja-laskutaito-ensimmaisina-kouluvuosina?redirect=http%3A%2%2Fwww.uef.fi%2Fen%2Fhome%3Fp_p_id%3D101_INSTANCE_6Zu5%26p_p_lifecycle%3D0%26p_p_state%3Dnormal%26p_p_mode%3Dview%26p_p_col_id%3Dcolumn-2%26p_p_col_pos%3D1%26p_p_col_count%3D7

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