Objective Motor function tests are used clinically and in research in children, particularly in those with neuromuscular disorders. Timed function tests are recommended in the follow-up of patients with neuromuscular disorders. This study was designed to know how healthy children perform on simple timed motor function tests.
Material and methods In a cross-sectional observational study, 345 children aged 2–12 years, followed at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro's Institute of Paediatric, were evaluated. To be eligible they had to have acquired independent walking before the age of 14 months, be able to cope and willing to participate in the study. Anthropometric and vital signs were verified, as well as contact with smokers. The following timed motor function tests were measured: time to rise from the floor (TRF), time to walk 10 meters (10MWT) and time to run 10 meters (10MRT).
Results Improvement in time to perform those motor functions was found to occur in healthy preschool children. Stabilisation of mean times for those motor functions was seen thereafter: TRF of 1.2 s, 10MWT of 10 s and 10MRT of 5 s.
Conclusions Walking and rising speed improve with age in preschoolers, as expected, and is shown to occur up to a plateau level. Our findings for the 10MWT, 10MRT and TRF are in line with those published in 2008 for the 6 minute walk test (6MWT). The motor functions used in the present study require less time and space than the ones in the 6MWT. They should be considered more universally applicable. Those tests could be used in childcare clinics as a screening for motor disorders such as the neuromuscular diseases.
Trial registration number 1.098.302.
- Paediatric Practice
- School Health
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