Author(s): Allan Chak Lun Fu, Stephen Paul Cobley, Ross Howard Sanders
Evidence suggests that obesity is strongly associated with low physical activity (PA). Overcoming the obesity problem requires that individuals adhere to prescribed PA programs. Therefore, in this paper we review the factors affecting adherence. On the basis of the review we recommend a strategy for developing movement competence and enjoyment of PA to improve adherence and long term participation in PA. The relationships among childhood obesity, level of PA, and movement competence indicated by motor coordination (MC) and development of fundamental movement skills (FMS) were reviewed, followed by an assessment of current pedagogical and psychological principles leading to the proposal of a strategic approach to improve long term PA adherence. Many children are affected by a “vicious cycle of obesity”, low PA, and low levels of movement competence perpetuating avoidance of PA. Intervention programmes to break the vicious cycle should be based on skill development needs of individuals. The program should be designed and delivered in a manner that fosters a task-based psycho-social climate based on self-determination and achievement goal theories. MC training reinforced by a favourable psycho-social climate can be effective in breaking a “vicious cycle of obesity” and increasing PA adherence.
See also: Comments to Paper