Motor Development and Physical Activity: A Longitudinal Discordant Twin-Pair Study
Aaltonen, S., Latvala, A., Rose, R. J., Pulkkinen, L., Kujala, U., Kaprio, J., & Silventoinen, K. (2015). Motor Development and Physical Activity: A Longitudinal Discordant Twin-Pair Study. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 47 (10), 2111-2118. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000000650
Published inMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
© 2015 American College of Sports Medicine
ntroduction : Previous longitudinal research suggests that motor proficiency in early life predicts physical activity in adulthood. Familial effects including genetic and environmental factors could explain the association, but no long-term follow-up studies have taken into account potential confounding by genetic and social family background. The present twin study investigated whether childhood motor skill development is associated with leisure-time physical activity levels in adulthood independent of family background. Methods : Altogether, 1550 twin pairs from the FinnTwin12 study and 1752 twin pairs from the FinnTwin16 study were included in the analysis. Childhood motor development was assessed by the parents _ report of whether one of the co-twins had been ahead of the other in different indicators of motor skill development in childhood. Leisure-time physical activity (MET I h I d j 1 ) was self-reported by the twins in young adulthood and adulthood. Statistical analyses included conditional and ordinary linear regression models within twin pairs. Results : Using all activity-discordant twin pairs, the within-pair difference in a sum score of motor development in childhood predicted the within-pair difference in the leisure-time physical activity level in young adulthood ( P G 0.001). Within specific motor development indicators, learning to stand unaided earlier in infancy predicted higher leisure-time MET values in young adulthood statistically significantly in both samples (FinnTwin12, P = 0.02; and FinnTwin16, P = 0.001) and also in the pooled data set of the FinnTwin12 and FinnTwin16 studies ( P G 0.001). Having been more agile than the co-twin as a child predicted higher leisure-time MET values up to adulthood ( P =0.03). Conclusions : More advanced childhood motor development is associated with higher leisure-time MET values in young adulthood at least partly independent of family background in both men and women. ...