Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 463–468 | Cite as

Association between motor coordination, body mass index, and sports participation in children 6–11 years old

  • Matteo GiuriatoEmail author
  • Lorenzo Pugliese
  • Valentina Biino
  • Luciano Bertinato
  • Antonio La Torre
  • Nicola Lovecchio
Original Article



To examine associations between motor coordination, body mass index (BMI), and sports participation in children 6–11 years old.


240 primary school children were enrolled in this cross-sectional study, divided into three age groups, each of which was subdivided into four weight classes: underweight (UW), normoweight (NW), overweight (OW), and obese (OB). The UW and NW groups were then compared to the OW and OB groups for differences in motor coordination ability and sports participation.


Motor coordination ability was observed to decrease and the proportion of OW/OB children to increase with age. A significant association between BMI and motor coordination ability was noted (p < 0.01), indicating that ability levels were lower in the OW and OB groups than in the UW and NW groups. Sports participation did not seem to depend on BMI status. Furthermore, a reduction of MC in both BMI groups according to the age-class stratification was observed.


A significant decrease in motor coordination ability with increasing age, together with an increase in overweight/obesity status become actual. Moreover, a negative influence was observed on coordination skills according to the increment in BMI level. Since BMI status was not seen as a deterrent to physical activity, teachers, physicians, parents, and trainers should encourage children to take up sports and continue participation to better develop their motor coordination abilities.


Childhood Physical level BMI KTK test 



The authors are very grateful to Prof. Federico Schena for his encouragement and scientific support.


No external funding sources.

Compliance with ethical standards

Experiments comply with the current laws of the country in which they were performed.

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures were in accord with current national and international laws and regulations governing in line with the Declaration of Helsinki.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human ScienceUniversità degli Studi di VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Match Analysis LabItalian Federation of BadmintonMilanItaly
  3. 3.Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement SciencesUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  4. 4.Laboratory of Adapted Motor Activity (LAMA)University of PaviaPaviaItaly

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