Children with a low level of neuromotor fitness are less skilled to participate in sports activities. The aim of this paper was to determine neuromotor fitness in 10-12-year-old Dutch children over a 10-year period. Test scores measured in 2015/2017 were compared with scores of same-aged children measured in 2006.
Neuromotor fitness was assessed using the MOPER fitness test battery, including speed and agility, strength, flexibility, and coordination and upper-limb speed.
The current study found that the previously observed downward trend in most components of neuromotor fitness among 10–12-year old Dutch children from 1980 to 2006 continued from 2006 to 2015/2017. Persistent low scores were found on most strength components and worsened scores on speed and agility and flexibility (with the exception of 12-year-old girls for the latter item) in 2015/2017 vs. 2006.
This downward trend in neuromotor fitness can have important implications on physical activity enjoyment and participation and thereby future health. Therefore, improving children’s neuromotor fitness from an early age should be a larger public health priority and be reflected as such in local and national policy.