Original research| Volume 23, ISSUE 2, P171-175, February 2020

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Quantifying cycling as a foundational movement skill in early childhood

Published:August 28, 2019DOI:



      The addition of cycling to the fundamental movement phase of the motor development model has been proposed. Lifelong physical activity behaviours, like cycling, are established during childhood and it is vital that research focuses on these skills. In order to determine the position of cycling within this newly proposed model, the learning process of this skill must be examined. The current paper will quantify the skill of cycling as a learning process and investigate cycling’s place as a Foundational Movement Skill. Investigation into whether a composite score could be derived from combining fundamental movement skills proficiency scores and ability on a balance bike (as a measure of the learning process of cycling) will also be conducted.

      Design and Methods

      Ninety-seven preschool children were assessed on ability on a balance bike (bike with no pedals) using two separate timed tracks (straight and curved) and fundamental movement skill proficiency. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, Pearson product-moment correlations and principal axis factoring.


      Statistically significant correlations were found between ability on a balance bike and all three subcomponents of fundamental movement skills (locomotor, object-control & stability). Principal axis factoring revealed the presence of one component that all four variables could explain.


      Ability on a balance bike is a standalone Foundational Movement Skill and is not a representation of locomotor, object-control or stability. Furthermore, ability on a balance bike can be combined with locomotor, object-control and stability to produce an overall composite score for Foundational Movement Skills.


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