Effects of increased physical activity on motor skills and marks in physical education: an intervention study in school years 1 through 9 in Sweden

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Effects of increased physical activity on motor skills and marks in physical education: an intervention study in school years 1 through 9 in Sweden

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Effects of increased physical activity on motor skills and marks in physical education: an intervention study in school years 1 through 9 in Sweden
Author(s) Ericsson, Ingegerd
Date 2011
English abstract
Background: Studies have shown that some children do not participate in sport or exercise because they did not establish early coordination and basic motor skills while at school. Basic motor skills form significant parts of the goals for students to achieve in the Swedish school subject Physical Education and Health (PEH). Aims: The aim was to study effects of an extension of physical activity and motor training, during a period of nine years, on motor skills and marks in the school subject PEH. Furthermore, a motor training program called Motor Development as Ground for Learning [Motorisk Utveckling som Grund för Inlärning] (MUGI) was tested and evaluated. Method: The study is longitudinal and two groups of students were followed during nine school years. At the start of the project the students were seven years old, and 15 years old at the follow-up. An intervention group (n = 161) had one scheduled lesson of physical activity and motor training every school day. A control group (n = 102) had the school's usual two PEH lessons per week. Motor skills observations were carried out in the school years 1, 2, 3, and 9 according to the MUGI checklists. Extra motor skill training, according to the MUGI model, was given to students in the intervention group who had motor skills deficits. The method was hypothetic-deductive and two hypotheses were tested: (1) Students' motor skills will improve with extended PEH and extra motor training according to the MUGI model, and (2) boys' and girls' marks in PEH will improve with extended PEH and extra motor training in school. Findings: The results confirmed the hypothesis that students' motor skills improve with extended physical activity and motor training. After only one year the students in the intervention group had significantly better motor skills (balance and coordination) than students in the control group. These differences remained and were also found at follow-up school years 3 and 9. Differences in motor skills between boys and girls decreased with extended physical activity and extra motor training in school. Significant correlations were found between motor skills school year 2, 3, and 9 and marks in PEH school year 9. The second hypothesis was confirmed by significantly higher marks in the school subject PEH school year 9 in the intervention than in the control group. Although there were no significant differences in motor skills between boys and girls in school year 9, girls had significantly lower marks in PEH than boys. Conclusions: The school has good potential for stimulating students' development of motor skills, but two lessons of PEH per week are not enough. Differences in motor skills between boys and girls may decrease with extended physical activity and extra motor training in school. The MUGI program can be useful as a pedagogic model for observing and improving motor skills in school.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2010.545052 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Routledge
Host/Issue Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy;3
Volume 16
ISSN 1742-5786
Pages 313-329
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Bunkeflo Project
POP study
Compulsory School
Grading
MUGI observations
MUGI motor training
Pupils
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/12971 (link to this page)

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