According to new Finnish research, the environment, physical activity and motor development of children would be closely linked during childhood.
One in ten children have motor development delays, say researchers at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland). Delays that can complicate some everyday tasks, such as putting on clothes, writing and riding a bike.
Finnish scientists have thus examined the impact of the living environment on the motor skills of the youngest. They found that those who grow up in the countryside have better motor skills, control of objects and balance than their urban peers.
Their study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health last June, was conducted among 945 children and their families between 2015 and 2017. The skill of 3-7 years of thirty-seven Finnish daycare centers was evaluated using international indicators. The time spent outdoors was estimated using a questionnaire completed by the parents. Six of the centers analyzed were located in metropolitan France, seventeen in cities, seven in rural areas and seven in the countryside.
The researchers finally found that children living in the countryside spent more time outdoors and had better motor skills than their peers in the metropolitan area. In fact, inspiring and motivating outdoor environments offer young people the opportunity to play and run, they explain. These freedoms allow the development of skills, such as walking, frolicking, climbing, jumping … In contrast, city dwellers participated in more organized sports activities, also essential to control the control of objects.
According to Donna Niemistö, who participated in the study, motor skills are acquired through the repetition of a task. “For the development of the child, it is crucial that he has the opportunity to try, play and practice spontaneously,” she says on the website of the University of Jyväskylä. […] L Summer is a great time to travel with your family, as nature allows versatile experiences and stimuli for children’s motor development. “
Moreover, in early childhood, agility does not only allow the child to perform tasks. It also allows him to participate in various physical activities and active games, and to have friends with whom to play. “Motor skills are crucial for school adaptation,” confirms Donna Niemistö. This one advises to take into account the possibility for the youngest to move – in a safe, versatile and independent way – when choosing the environment in which they will grow up.