THE PERCENTAGE OF BODY FAT IN CHILDREN AND THE LEVEL OF THEIR MOTOR SKILLS
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity among primary education pupils and to identify differences in motor skills between normal weight, excessive and obese pupils. Partial aim was to determine differences in motor status of girls and boys and their anthropometric characteristics (Body Mass Index, body fat percentage). The study was conducted in two primary schools in Zagreb, Ivan Goran Kovačić and Davorin Trstenjak. Total of 333 pupils, aged 7-11, were measured (178 boys and 155 girls). Four anthropometric and seven motor variables were used to analyze differences in motor abilities of children. Children were divided into three groups within gender based on their body fat measures. We established a statistically significant difference in motor abilities between groups of subjects in three subsamples (1st - 2nd class girls and 3rd - 4th boys and girls). Children with normal weight have better results in explosive strength, coordination, static strength of arm and shoulder than children who are overweight and obese. The differences are not observed in motor variables where body weight is not a requisite for efficient execution of movement. Differences in motor skills by gender showed that boys are better in coordination, speed of the simple movements, explosive and repetitive strength, and girls are better in flexibility. The conclusion of this study confirmed the existence of differences in the development of motor skills in children with normal body weight compared to children who are overweight or obese. These facts prove that excessive body weight has negative repercussions on motor performance.
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