Motor competence is regarded a key determinant of children’s general development and has
been recently identified as an important predictor for their engagement in physical activities.
The term not only refers to the degree of skilled performance in a wide range of motor tasks
but also to the quality of movement coordination and control underlying a motor outcome.
Despite the growing awareness of lower motor competence in relation to childhood obesity,
which has become a global epidemic, there is a lack of research into contributing factors and
the exact nature of obese children’s reduced motor function. However, a better understanding
is essential in order to address this increasingly common condition through targeted
prevention and treatment initiatives. Therefore, the aims of this project are (1) to identify and
document the relative impact potential psychological (i.e., perceived motor competence),
behavioral (i.e., actual motor competence, level of physical activity), and external factors (i.e.,
socio-economic status, social and physical environment) across developmental time; and (2)
to analyze the impact of excess mass (i.e., endo- or exogenous) on children’s coordination and
control during functional motor tasks (i.e., postural stability, walking, stair climbing).