Impact of Motor Competence Profiles on Adolescents' Physical Activity and Cardiorespiratory Fitness across Four Years

Iiris Kolunsarka, Arto Gråstèn, David Stodden, Mikko Huhtiniemi, Timo Jaakkola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Physical activity levels have decreased over past decades with most adolescents neither meeting the current physical activity recommendations nor demonstrating adequate cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). Motor competence (MC) is foundational for a physically active lifestyle; however, children demonstrate significant differences in their levels of MC in a broad foundation of movement skills. This study investigated developmental patterns of physical activity and CRF in children across 4 yr based on their longitudinal MC profiles. Methods The data included annual measurements of MC, accelerometry-measured moderate-To-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and CRF over 4 yr from the age 11 to 15 (n = 1147, girls 582, boys 565). Latent profile analysis was used to identify longitudinal MC profiles and latent growth curve modeling to examine intercepts and slopes (s) of MVPA and CRF in these MC profiles. Results Three different longitudinal MC profiles were identified: low, moderate, and high. The MC profiles showed significant differences in intercepts of CRF and MVPA. The high MC profile showed the highest intercepts for both, but also a statistically significant decline in MVPA over time (s =-3.36, P < 0.001). Cardiorespiratory fitness increased similarly in all three profiles over time: low (s = 1.20, P < 0.01), moderate (s = 1.28, P < 0.001), high (s = 2.21, P < 0.001). Conclusions These results highlight the long-Term associations between different MC profiles and development of MVPA and CRF. Adolescents with lower MC demonstrated lower levels of MVPA and CRF, indicating decreased participation in physical activities that can optimally enhance CRF. However, significant differences in MVPA levels between MC profiles faded over time in adolescence, whereas significant differences in CRF remained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1610-1619
Number of pages10
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2023



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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