Purpose Physical activity (PA) is associated with several health benefits in children, and PA habits developed in childhood tend to persist into adulthood. PA may be the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, and motor performance has been shown to be positively associated with PA in cross-sectional studies. The purpose of this study was to explore the longitudinal relation between motor performance and PA in a 3-yr follow-up study. Methods Longitudinal analyses were performed using data from 673 participants (44% boys, 6-12 yr old) who had been included in the Childhood Health Activity and Motor Performance School study-DK. Baseline motor performance tests consisted of vertical jump, shuttle run, hand grip strength, backward balance, precision throw, and cardiovascular fitness. Composite z-scores were generated to express health-related fitness and performance-related fitness. PA was measured by accelerometer at baseline and at 3-yr follow-up and was expressed as a percentage of time in moderate-to-vigorous PA. Results Cardiovascular fitness, vertical jump, health-related fitness, and performance-related fitness showed significant positive associations with 3-yr follow-up measures of PA in both sexes. Furthermore, shuttle run showed significant inverse associations with follow-up measures of PA for both sexes. Conclusions Cardiorespiratory fitness, shuttle run, vertical jump, health-related fitness, and performance-related fitness were significantly associated with time spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA at 3-yr follow-up. The clinical relevance of the results indicates that cardiorespiratory fitness and shuttle run in childhood may be important determinants of PA in adolescence.
- Fitness, agility, activity, longitudinal association, youth