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Title: Assessment of physical activity and motor ability in children
Author: Al-Hadabi, Badriya Khalfan Issa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 8437
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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Health benefits are found to be associated with regular physical activity (PA), however, only a small percentage of young people are meeting the government physical activity recommendation guidelines. Therefore, there is a necessity to further understand the factors that may influence greater participation in physical activity. One essential influencing factor may be the level of mastery of motor abilities (MA) which children and adolescents need in order to participate in different physical activities. Therefore, this thesis was built on the hypothesis that children with better developed motor abilities may find it easier to be active and engage in more physical activity than those with less-developed motor abilities. This thesis provides three studies focusing on firstly, validating accelerometer counts against oxygen uptake (energy expenditure or EE) in 9 to 11 year old children performing a number of highly variable physical activities, similar to those undertaken in free-living conditions. Cut-off points for resting physical activity level, light physical activity level, moderate physical activity level and vigorous physical activity level were determined, which have been used to analyse PA data in studies 2 and 3. The second study was a cross-sectional design and third study was a longitudinal design. Both studies investigated the level of motor ability that 8 to 12 year old children possessed; secondly, they explored how anthropometric factors affected selected components of MA and thirdly, they determined whether MA components themselves and/or anthropometric measurements are useful predictors of physical activity levels. Results showed a strong correlation between the accelerometer counts and energy expenditure (as measured by oxygen consumption) of r = 0.86, and two different regression equations to predict EE from accelerometer counts were developed. Cut-off points of <61, 62 - 3435,3436 - 6100, and 2: 6101 were determined for resting, light, moderate and vigorous physical activity levels. The cross-sectional study showed that motor ability components were improved with increasing school year. Gender was the main predictor of most motor ability components; while body fat percentage (BF%) and age were secondary factors. The cross-sectional design does not allow the drawing of a causal relationship between the development of motor ability and physical activity levels. Thus, the longitudinal study illustrated that tracking motor ability and anthropometric data over time removed gender as a dominating factor in predicting the motor ability component as found in the cross-sectional study (Chapter 4). Changes in Standing Vertical Jump, Sit-up and Flamingo Balance Test were found to be factors that could affect change in physical activity levels. However, the small number of participants who met the criteria of physical activity intensity levels in this study mean that interpretations of results should be taken with caution. Further longitudinal research using a large group of children, motor ability component tests and more than one objective method to monitor physical activity levels are needed to clearly explore the relationship between these two parameters,
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available