Objective: The present study systematically reviewed the research trends of exercise interventions on motor coordination (MC) in school children.
Methods: Studies published from January 2009 to January 2019 were identified by literature searches in multiple international databases. Terms for “motor coordination”, “koordination”, “motor skill”, “movement skill”, “motor competence”, “motor proficiency”, “neuromuscular”, “gross motor”, “fundamental”, “locomotor skill”, “object control”, fitness, “coordinative exercise”, “coordination exercise” were used. Studies were included if they were conducted among school children and measured MC, MC‒related variables as primary or secondary outcomes, and published in a peer‒reviewed journal. After examination and careful review of the included studies, the characteristics of the studies (study design, participant, measure of MC, intervention, and results) were extracted and summarized. Also, the methodological quality of the randomized controlled trials (RCT) included was assessed.
Results: A total of 13 studies (RCT: n＝9, quasi‒experimental design: n＝3, pre‒post design: n＝1) met the inclusion criteria. All of the studies (n＝13) were conducted using school‒based interventions. With the exception of one study, all other studies showed significant effects of the intervention.
Conclusion: The present findings suggest that all eligible studies can improve MC in school children. However, some methodological limitations were also found. Thus, further high‒quality intervention studies will be necessary.