Children with motor learning difficulties (MLD) tend to be less physically active than their coordinated peers and one likely consequence is a reduced level of physical fitness. In this study, 52 children with MLD aged 5 to 8 years, were compared to 52 age- and gender-matched control children across a range of health and skill related fitness components. Analyses of variance revealed significantly lower scores in the group with MLD on the tests for cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, abdominal strength, speed, and power than the control group. Furthermore, the group with MLD had a significantly higher Body Mass Index (BMI). These findings have implications for educators and allied health professionals working with this age group. Programs need to teach children with movement difficulties to perform tasks used in fitness assessment and also work on the development of physical fitness.
Hands, B. P., & Larkin, D. (2006). Physical fitness of children with motor learning difficulties. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 21(4), 447-456. doi:10.1080/08856250600956410