The association between Scottish pre-school children’s adherence to the 24hr movement guidelines and their motor skill acquisition

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Objective: Recently, as part of the strategy to reduce global childhood obesity, the World Health Organization had released new guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep for the early years. Adherence to these guidelines is said to be positively associated with some health indicators in children, however little is known about the levels of adherence to these guidelines in Scotland. The main purpose of this research is to investigate the level of adherence of preschoolers in Scotland to the 24hr movement guidelines, and also to examine any association there is between adhering to the movement guidelines and their motor skill development. Methods: A total of 40 preschoolers from Scotland were recruited in this cross-sectional study. Each participating child was given an Actigraph (waist worn accelerometer) for a minimum of 4 days to measure their level of physical activity. Parent/guardians of the participating children were asked to provide data on their screen time sedentary behavior and sleep via parents’ questionnaires. Association between movement guidelines and motor skill development were examined in SPSS using linear regression. Results: A large number of participants met the physical activity (80%) and sleep guidelines (93.3%), while very few met the sedentary behaviour guidelines (14.3%). Consequently, very few participants also met all three of the 24hr movement guidelines (10.7%). Participants who met the sleep guidelines (M=11.4, SD = 0.8) demonstrated a significant score effect in their fine motor skill [MD= 27.3, SD= 12.7, t (28) = -2.152, p= 0.040] than those that did not. Although there was no statistical difference between the groups of pre-schoolers that met individual guidelines, a combination of guidelines or the 24h movement guidelines and those that did not, there was a better score for meeting a movement guideline in both fine and gross motor skill. Conclusion: Programs that aim to promote pre-schoolers adherence to the 24hr movement guidelines in early years should be developed and established. Encouraging and supporting strategies that promote preschoolers adherence to the movement guidelines will be beneficial for their motor skill development.
Date of Award17 Mar 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde

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