The relationship between motor skill proficiency and body mass index in preschool children

Samuel W. Logan, Kristin Scrabis-Fletcher, Christopher Modlesky, Nancy Getchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between motor proficiency and body mass index (BMI) in preschool children. Thirty-eight children ages 4–6 years had their BMI calculated and were assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2; Henderson, Sugden, & Barnett, 2007). These data were analyzed in two ways. The correlation between BMI and MABC-2 percentile ranks was calculated. Next, the groups were subdivided based on BMI status (high, M = 85.5; medium, M = 49.8; low, M = 10.8), and compared using t tests to determine if differences existed in MABC-2 percentile ranks. No significant relationship existed between MABC-2 and BMI percentile ranks (r = −237). However, significant differences in MABC-2 percentile ranks existed between high and low (p =. 042), and high and medium (p =. 043) groups. These results suggest that preschool children classified as overweight or obese may have lower motor proficiency than their normal weight and under weight peers. This study indicates there is a direct relationship between motor proficiency and BMI in the preschool population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-448
Number of pages7
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011



  • Motor competence
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Young children

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