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Keywords:

  • coordination;
  • elementary school children;
  • motor skill assessment

An adequate coordination level in children is important for their general development, but also for health, psychosocial, academic and well-being-related reasons. In this study, the suitability of the KörperkoordinationsTest für Kinder (KTK) as an assessment instrument for the gross motor coordination was evaluated in 2470 children from 26 elementary schools for general education spread over the Flemish and Brussels-capital region. All children performed four subtests: walking backwards (WB), moving sideways (MS), hopping for height (HH) and jumping sideways (JS). Age and gender-specific values were established for the Flemish children anno 2008. Overall, the current sample scored significantly worse than their 1974 German counterparts (P<0.001). Score distribution showed 21% of the children being placed in the problematic range of gross motor coordination level. A decline in coordination was observed especially in those tasks relying primarily on coordinative capacities (WB and MS), while improvements or status quo in those tasks relying on strength and speed (JS and HH) were explained by secular trends. We suggest that the KTK is a valuable instrument for the assessment of the gross motor coordination of Flemish children and efforts should be made in order to face the decline in coordination.