Purpose: To examine associations between motor coordination, body mass index (BMI), and sports participation in children 6–11 years old. Methods: 240 primary school children were enrolled in this cross-sectional study, divided into three age groups, each of which was subdivided into four weight classes: underweight (UW), normoweight (NW), overweight (OW), and obese (OB). The UW and NW groups were then compared to the OW and OB groups for differences in motor coordination ability and sports participation. Results: Motor coordination ability was observed to decrease and the proportion of OW/OB children to increase with age. A significant association between BMI and motor coordination ability was noted (p < 0.01), indicating that ability levels were lower in the OW and OB groups than in the UW and NW groups. Sports participation did not seem to depend on BMI status. Furthermore, a reduction of MC in both BMI groups according to the age-class stratification was observed. Conclusion: A significant decrease in motor coordination ability with increasing age, together with an increase in overweight/obesity status become actual. Moreover, a negative influence was observed on coordination skills according to the increment in BMI level. Since BMI status was not seen as a deterrent to physical activity, teachers, physicians, parents, and trainers should encourage children to take up sports and continue participation to better develop their motor coordination abilities. © 2019, Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature.
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