AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN NEED BASIC MOVEMENT SKILL COMPETENCE FOR
Presenter - Barnett L
Many Australian children are not meeting physical activity guidelines, are
not cardiovascularly fit and are overweight or obese. Furthermore, around
half of Australian children are not competent in basic movement skills;
the ability to catch, run and jump. Even in adolescence, when we would
expect these skills to be mastered, movement skill competency is low.
Therefore acting preventatively to improve motor competence is crucial.
This presentation will use a lifespan approach to discuss the importance of
children’s movement competence to future health. Dr Barnett will present a
range of her studies covering the age period from pre-school to upper high
school, and the key work of others in the field, to demonstrate the current
state of evidence in this area and the remaining research questions to be
answered. Importantly, there is now compelling evidence demonstrating
that poor childhood movement skill competence and poor perceptions of
competence, links to subsequent reduced physical activity and healthrelated
physical fitness, and a higher chance of becoming overweight/
obese. Finally Dr Barnett will present evidence on whether movement skill
competency gained through an intervention can be sustained.
Key Practice Points:
• Physiotherapists have a crucial role to play – they are primary contact
practitioners and have the opportunity to screen and promote movement
skill competency in children and youth.
• This presentation will give practitioners a fresh perspective on the
importance of movement skill development for all children.