The article titled “Effectiveness of a Physical Activity Intervention for Head Start Preschoolers” by Laura L. Bellows has an objective of proving that motor skills play an important role in the behavioral development of physical activity. The article sites the alarming rate at which obesity in America has grown in recent years and as a result people’s physical activity has declined gradually. According to the study, it is apparent that children with less motor skills are less physical active. In relevance with the journal article, children with higher motor skill performance indulge in moderate to rigorous physical activity. The improvement of motor skill is important in children as it upgrades their self-esteem and physical health as they grow older.
The article mentions about programs which have been introduced in schools to enhance the motor skill performance and increase the opportunity for physical activity among children. The authors focus on a study that was conducted to test the efficiency of the programs that are meant to improve motor skills and provide opportunities for students. The study was a randomized intervention that was carried out in eight centers to determine motor skill related physical activity. According to Bellows, “Mighty Moves was a randomized intervention study targeting 3- to 5-yr-old children enrolled in eight Head Start centers across rural and urban settings who had previously implemented the Food Friends Fun With New Foods nutrition program’. The study got assistance from students and teachers and was approved by the university institution review board.
The study recorded crucial information the age, gender, ethnicity, height, weight and body mass index. The Peabody Developmental Motor Scales was the fundamental criterion used for the study. The subtests on stability, locomotors and object manipulation were conducted and testing time averaged 20 – 25 minutes. The intervention was carried out for duration of 18 weeks and during this time, numerous motor related skills lessons and challenges were presented to the students. Amongst the activities, physical challenges were gradually introduced. The average ranking for all activities was 4.04 and a data were collected by the research staff over a 2 day period. They were 274 students participated in the study and data was collected from 263 children and 55% were boys and 45% were girls ,59% Hispanic and 32% white. The study results showed that the children exposed to motor skill activity showed significant in motor skill performance.
The program results depicted a significant change in the gross motor skill especially among the preschoolers. However, a momentous result was the fact that there was no substantial change in the physical activity or weight of the participants. 3 year old children who participated displayed improvements in GMQ and stability scores. An interesting find on the study was that the children with low BMIs recorded more improvement in motor skill as compare to those with a higher BMI. The study showed improvement in motor skills performance of students but highlighted that longitudinal studies are required to study the physical activity performance.
In conclusion, the study brought out the underlying ineffectiveness of programs that have been introduced in schools to enhance motor skills and provide opportunities to conduct physical activities. It is therefore paramount that these programs be tailored for children of particular ages to obtain the best possible results.
Bellows, L. L. (2013). Effectiveness of a Physical Activity for Head Start Preschoolers: A randomized Intervention Study. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67(1), 28-36. Retrieved October 20, 2013, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3722665/