Fundamental Movement Skills (FMSs) refer to a set of fundamental physical abilities that provide the basis for movement proficiency and sport participation throughout childhood and adulthood. They include locomotion, balance and object manipulation abilities which children acquire through their natural development process as well as through intervention programs designed to foster these talents.
These skills have numerous advantages, such as increased physical activity, fitness and a lower body mass index – which have been linked to better mental health outcomes. Furthermore, children who demonstrate greater FMS competency will likely participate in more physical activities during their school years and remain fitter for longer periods of time.
Children who possess more fundamental movement skill proficiency also show higher levels of self-esteem and social confidence. Furthermore, these youngsters possess better self-regulation and self-awareness; thus they are less likely to engage in negative behaviors such as aggression, and they make better choices when presented with two alternatives.
Fundamental movements such as running, jumping, hopping and throwing are essential for developing physically active children. These exercises help build coordination, speed and agility in young athletes.
While children with typical development may benefit from intervention programs that improve their fundamental movement skills, few studies have examined the effects of movement skill interventions on children with developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is likely because most research in this area has focused on typically developing children and not those with disabilities.
Therefore, well-designed controlled intervention studies to investigate the effects of movement skill interventions on children with ASD are needed. This can give us a greater insight into how movement skills affect health and other domains of development in these children, as well as identify specific movement skills that may be impaired in these individuals and their potential treatment implications.
To identify and interpret the findings of these studies, we conducted a systematic review. This review included 24 studies involving 1,094 children divided into two groups: those with ASD and those without. HC extracted the outcomes using an electronic form before analyzing them.
Overall, the results of the study demonstrate that locomotor skill competency is positively correlated with total (P 0.001) and lunchtime MVPA, while object-control skill competency was a stronger predictor of both total (P 0.0001) and after-school MVPA for children who attend a school-based physical education program. Furthermore, this adds to previous evidence showing object control skills to be more significant predictors than BMI in predicting children’s MVPA; emphasizing the need to build and enhance fundamental movement skill competencies as part of any strategy to promote active school-based programs.