'n Motoriese, fisieke en liggaamsamestellingsprofiel en die effek van 'n perseptueel–motoriese ontwikkelingsprogram by graad 1–leerders in die Noordwes–Provinsie
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Several researchers have reported that the perceptual-motor skills of today’s children are not optimally developed. Furthermore, childhood obesity has increased worldwide and is a cause for concern due to the effect that it has on the present and future public health of children. Childhood obesity has a bearing on a rise in chronic paediatric diseases and an increase in hypertension, as well as on motor and physical deficits. In spite of the inadequate perceptual-motor development that is reported, few studies have been reported that examine the effect of school-based movement development programmes to improve the motor proficiency of school beginners. Firstly, in this thesis, an attempt was made to establish a general profile of the motor proficiency of Grade 1 learners in the North West Province of South Africa, and to determine possible gender and racial differences. Secondly, the relationship between the body composition and blood pressure of Grade 1 learners was examined. Thirdly, the relationship between the body composition and motor, physical and object control skills of these learners was examined. The fourth objective was to determine the effect of school-based movement development programmes on the perceptual-motor proficiency of Grade 1 learners. For objectives one to three, data were collected by means of a stratified randomised sample of 816 Grade 1 learners (419 boys, 397 girls) with a mean age of 6,78 years (+ 0,49) who participated in the NW-CHILD study. The short form of the “Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2” (Bruininks & Bruininks, 2005), which consists of eight subcomponents, was used to determine the learners’ motor proficiency and the “Test of Gross Motor Development-2” was used to determine the learners’ object control skills. Stature, body mass, skinfolds (subscapular, triceps and calf) and waist circumference were measured according to standard kinantropometric protocols. International cut-off points for body mass index (BMI) were used to classify learners in normal, overweight or obese categories. Blood pressure was measured by means of an Omron 705CP-II. With regard to objective 1, it appeared from the results, which were analysed with descriptive statistics and testing, and by making use of the Statistica computer program, that Grade 1 learners exhibit below average (49,63%) to average (48,16%) motor proficiency. The poorest skills exhibited by the learners were in strength, fine motor integration and fine motor precision. The motor proficiency of the boys was mostly average (63,96%) as opposed to that of the girls, which was largely classified as below average (64,74%), although the girls’ manual dexterity and bilateral co-ordination was significantly better compared to the boys. The motor proficiency of most of the white children was average (69,27%), compared to 58,73% of the black children, whose motor proficiency was below average. White children performed significantly better in fine motor precision, fine motor integration, manual dexterity, bilateral co-ordination, upper limb co-ordination and strength skills, and black children in balancing and running speed and agility skills. Concerning objective 2, it appeared from the results, which were analysed with descriptive statistics, the Spearman correlation coefficients and one-way analysis of variance, that the overall incidence of prehypertension and hypertension was 8,5% and 24,9% respectively. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure exhibited a significant relationship with BMI, body fat percentage and waist circumference. Boys and girls exhibited the same incidence of hypertension. A higher percentage of the black children were hypertensive compared to the white children, although the difference in the blood pressure of the groups was not significant. A high percentage of children of normal weight also exhibited high levels of blood pressure. As far as objective 3 is concerned, it appeared from the results, which were analysed with descriptive statistics, Spearman correlation coefficients and one-way analysis of variance, that 1 out of every 10 learners (11,64%) was overweight (7,84%) or obese (3,80%). Fine motor precision, balance, running speed, agility and strength exhibited a significant relationship with body mass index (p<0.05), while no clear relationship was found between object control skills, upper limb co-ordination and body mass index. For objective 4, two schools were selected from the total sample in one urban area, which consisted of 75 learners (school 1=40 and school 2=35) who had a mean age of 6,66 years (+ 0,24) and who participated in two different perceptual-motor movement development programmes. The perceptual-motor movement development programme of School 1 was based on a process-oriented approach, as opposed to the programme of School 2, which was based on a product-oriented approach. Motor proficiency was measured by making use of the short form of the “Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2”. The results, which were analysed with descriptive statistics, independent t-testing and a covariance of analysis, showed that both movement development programmes contributed to significant improvements in some of the motor proficiency sub-components. However, the process-oriented movement programme contributed to a greater extent to improvement on an individual level, which was attributed to the improved underlying neurological processes of motor proficiency and bilateral integration that underwent improvement as a result, while the level of motor proficiency mastery of the product-oriented movement development programme remained unchanged. On the grounds of the above results it is advised that educators, such as the Physical Education teachers who work with Grade 1 learners, take note of the possible deficits with regard to motor proficiency, overweight and obesity, and implement suitable intervention programmes, taking into consideration the gender and racial specific differences that were found in this study. The measuring of blood pressure for basic screening purposes is important in the child population and interventions that include physical activity are advised to reduce the potential cardiovascular complications of obesity amongst children. It could also be recommended that school-based movement development programmes, which are presented by specialists, be implemented in order to improve the motor proficiency of Grade 1 learners and to also contribute to the improvement of the skills of learners with perceptual-motor and physical proficiency problems.
- Health Sciences