Physical Development


Physical activity is fundamental to the early development of each child and affects many aspects of a child’s health. Contemporary health organizations propose that higher levels of physical activity in school-aged children are associated with important short- and long-term health benefits in physical, emotional, social, and cognitive domains across the life span. As such, it is vital to integrate physical activity into the lives of children and set the foundation in facilitating and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle throughout adulthood. It has been reported that more than 41 million young children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2014, worldwide. The health implications of physical activity during early childhood cannot be disregarded; therefore, it is warranted to investigate the relationships between physical activity and health outcomes and cognition in early ages.


Although early childhood represents a critical period to promote physical activity, the long-term health benefits of being physically active from early ages have yet to be confirmed. It is suggested that promoting physical activity in early childhood may help develop motor skills. This postulation is echoed by evidence showing a reciprocal relationship, albeit cross-sectionally, between physical activity and motor development. In fact, motor skills in young children are considered to be linked with various health outcomes such as adiposity, self-esteem, cardiorespiratory fitness, and cognition, among others. Hence, developing and implementing effective interventions to improve young children’s motor skills have become a priority.