EQOL Journal (2022) 14(1): 41-47
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
41
Motor coordination and weight status in children according to area of
residence
Živan Milošević
1, 2
Filip Sadri
1
Ivo Sadri
3
Marijana Sinđić
1
Maja Batez
1
Received: 5
th
March, 2021 DOI: 10.31382/eqol.220605
Accepted: 14
th
February, 2022
© The Author(s) 2022. This article is published with open access.
Abstract
A good understanding of potential differences in
motor coordination and weight status in children
from rural and urban areas may advance targeted
measures implemented by experts in the field of
sports and physical education. This research study is
focused on investigating differences in the total
motor coordination score and weight status in 70
children aged (7 to 8) living in different residential
areas within the territory of the city of Šabac,
Republic of Serbia (35 urban and 35 rural areas).
The Körperkoordinations Test für Kinder battery of
tests was used for the assessment of the overall
motor coordination. By application of t-test for
independent samples, the obtained results indicate
that there are statistically significant differences in
the majority of the applied motor tests (walking
backward, p=0.000; hop for height on one leg,
p=0.033; side jumps, p=0.002), as well as in the total
motor coordination scores (p=0.000) in favor of the
children from rural environments. The weight status
of children indicates no statistically significant
differences between the two groups (p=0.376).
Keywords areas of residence motor coordination
weight status KTK battery of tests.
Introduction
An important factor in proper physical (Denker &
Andersen, 2008; Ortega, Ruiz, Castillo &
Sjostrom, 2008) and mental development in
children (Sibley & Etnier, 2003; Fedewa & Ahn,
2013; Gu, Chang & Solmon, 2016) is considered
participation in various types of physical activities.
Despite the traditional stance that the level of
physical activity in preschool and school-aged
children is significantly higher than in other age
categories and, for the most part, meets the
recommended minimum, scientific research
studies deny this (Keane, Li, Harrington,
Fitzgerald, Perry & Kearney, 2017; Bornstein,
Beets, Byun, & McIver, 2011; Hinkley, Salmon,
Okely, Crawford, & Hesketh, 2012).
Changes in motor abilities take place in certain
socioeconomic conditions characteristic of the
environment in which an individual or a group of
people live and which is made up of a set of
cultural, material, and other factors. The social
standard, level of cultural development, place, and
role of physical education, and social status of
parents and children are merely some of the factors
of the social environment that may indirectly
influence the development of motor skills in the
population living in the given environment, as well
as the degree of participation in sports activities
(Gadžić and Vučković, 2009; Matić, Kulj, and
Maksimović, 2010). Numerous environmental
filipsadri@uns.ac.rs
1
University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sport and
Physical Education, Novi Sad, Serbia
2
Sports Diagnostic Center, Šabac, Serbia
3
Primary School “Đura Daničić”, Novi Sad, Serbia
EQOL Journal (2022) 14(1): 41-47
42
factors may be either stimulating or demotivating in
terms of children’s engagement in physical activity
which may have long-term effects on their
development. All the said factors indirectly affect the
morphological status of children. Some of the
demotivating factors nowadays include
industrialization, mechanization, and robotics.
Prensky (2006a) refers to the children of today as
“digital natives“. They gratify their needs for
company, belonging, and communication sitting in a
chair, in front of a computer, tablet or mobile phone.
As early as 22 years ago, Ruel et al., (1998)
indicated in their research that girls from urban
environments spend most of their spare time reading,
playing computer games or watching TV, while girls
from rural environments spend more time outdoors,
thus enjoying more freedom in play and physical
activity. Data obtained from the EU countries indicate
that children from rural areas mature at an earlier age
in comparison with their peers from urban areas
(Bielicki, 1986). More recent research studies
indicate that the children from urban areas are more
prone to sedentary way of life as opposed to their
peers from rural areas (Özdirenç, Özcan, Akin, &
Gelecek, 2005; Albarwani, Al-Hashmi, Al-Abri, Jaju,
& Hassan, 2009) and the sedentary way of life
contributes to the increase in obesity in children,
which is also confirmed by the studies (Sedell, 2008;
Kosti and Panagiotakos, 2006; Odgen et al., 2006).
The dramatic rise of overweight and obesity has been
recorded among children on global level and
threatens to reach pandemic proportions. On the
country of the Republic of Serbia results on the
prevalence of obesity in children speak of epidemic
proportions (Đorđic
et al., 2016). Current rise in the
prevalence of obesity among younger population is
putting children at risk when of chronic illnesses such
as hypertension, high cholesterol levels, diabetes type
2 and development of cardiovascular disease, all of
which have already been associated with obesity in
children (Daniels, 2006). Certain research studies
indicate that the place of residence has no explicit
influence on the level of motor abilities in children
living in urban and rural environments (Tsimeas,
Tsiokanos, Koutedakis, Tsigilis, & Kellis, 2005;
Bathrellou, Lazarou, Panagiotakos, & Sidossis, 2007;
Krombholz, 1997).
Bearing in mind the results of recent studies and
the fact that the need for socialization and physical
activity is vanishing before social networks and
services, the objective of this research is to determine
the existence of differences in the overall level of
motor coordination and weight status in children
according to their area of residence.
Method
Subject
The research study involved 70 boys and girls aged (7
to 8). Based on their residential area, the children
were divided in two groups (35 urban and 35 rural).
The investigation was organized as part of the project
“Bring sports to schools-Grow healthy” that is
approved by the Serbian Ministry of Education,
Science, and Technological Development (Ref. No.
601-00-54/2012-15), and it is under implementation
on the territory of the city of Šabac (Republic of
Serbia). The criteria for inclusion were: that the rural
area is at least 20km away from the city and that the
children are healthy and do not suffer from any
diseases.
Procedures
The respondents performed the tests barefoot and
dressed in sports attire. The tests were conducted in
school gyms, in a predetermined order, by trained
evaluators and professors of sport and physical
education. The respondents were introduced with the
testing purpose and technique. Only physically and
mentally health children able to perform all the tests
were tested. The parents provided written consents
for participation. This research was conducted in
accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the
Declaration of Helsinki.
Urban and rural area
The city of Šabac covers the area of 795km² with a
total of 122.893 residents. Geographical position of
the center point of Šabac lies at grid coordinates
44°46` N and 19°14` E. Šabac is located at 80m above
sea level and is a lowland city situated on flat terrain,
in a valley.
The village of Krivaja is situated at 197 m above
sea level, beneath Cer Mountain (coordinates:
44°33′19″ N and 19°36′07″ E). It is located 29.3km
from the city of Šabac and is characterized by hilly
and mountainous terrain. It covers the area of 23km²
with a total of 812 inhabitants.
Anthropometric measurements
Body height and weight measurements were taken
according to standardized procedures (Lohman et al.,
1988). All the children were barefoot during
measuring. Body height was measured using a
EQOL Journal (2022) 14(1): 41-47
43
stadiometer (“SECA 213”, Hamburg, Germany), with
accuracy of 0.5cm. Body weight was measured using
a Body Composition Monitor OMRON BF511“
(Omron, Japan) with an accuracy of 0.1kg. BMI is
calculated using formula to indicate the ratio between
weight and height of a person. (BMI = weight
(kg)/height (m
2
)).
Motor coordination measurements
The KTK battery of tests was used for evaluating
overall motor coordination (Kiphard, & Schilling,
1974) comprising four motor tasks used to test
balance, rhythm, side movement, speed and agility.
The tests battery was customized for 5 to 15-year-
olds, with high reliability (0.90 - 0.97) and validity (r
= 0.60-0.80) (D’Hondt et al., 2013; Lopes et al.,
2011).
Walking backwards The respondent is required
to walk barefoot on the widest beam (6 cm in width)
forwards (as a trial not subject to scoring) and then
immediately backwards, without trials on other
beams. The respondent has 3 attempts on each beam.
Each step is counted and is counted as one point,
where the maximum number of points is 8. When the
child takes seven steps backwards, this is worth 7
points, when the child takes 6 steps, this is worth 6
points. When the child falls off the beam and touches
the floor, the test is stopped and the number of steps
taken before the fall i.e., before touching the floor is
taken into account. When it takes a lesser