A1 Journal article (refereed)
Varhaiskasvatusikäisten lasten unen määrän yhteys motorisiin taitoihin ja liikkumiseen (2022)
Hours of sleep and its association with motor skills and physical activity in early childhood

Mörsky, E., Mönkkönen, T., Laukkanen, A., Niemistö, D., Soini, A., & Sääkslahti, A. (2022). Varhaiskasvatusikäisten lasten unen määrän yhteys motorisiin taitoihin ja liikkumiseen. Liikunta ja tiede, 59(3), 91-98. https://www.lts.fi/media/lts_vertaisarvioidut_tutkimusartikkelit/2022/lt_3_2022_91-98.pdf

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsMörsky, Emmi; Mönkkönen, Tiia; Laukkanen, Arto; Niemistö, Donna; Soini, Anne; Sääkslahti, Arja

Journal or seriesLiikunta ja tiede


Publication year2022


Issue number3

Pages range91-98

PublisherLiikuntatieteellinen seura

Publication countryFinland

Publication languageFinnish

Persistent website addresshttps://www.lts.fi/media/lts_vertaisarvioidut_tutkimusartikkelit/2022/lt_3_2022_91-98.pdf

Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/82184

Additional informationVertaisarvioidut tutkimusartikkelit


Studies have shown that sleep is associated with children’s physical, cognitive, and emotional development, and their learning. This study examined associations between hours of sleep and locomotor skills (LMS), ball skills (BS), motor coordination (MC), perceived motor competence (PMC), levels of physical activity (PA), sedentary behaviour (SB), and screen time (ST) in early childhood. Gender and age differences were also examined. All the participants in the study took part in the Skilled Kids project. At the time of data collection, all children were 3 to 7 years of age (N = 1234, 624 girls and 610 boys, age 5.0yrs ± 1.1). The data was collected in 2015–2016. Hours of sleep, PA, SB, and ST were measured using a questionnaire answered by a legal guardian. Children’s LMS and BS were measured with the Test of Gross Motor Development third version (TGMD-3; Ulrich 2019), MC was assessed with the Körperkoodination Test Für Kinder (KTK; Kiphard & Schilling 2007), and PMC was measured with the PMSC assessment tool (Barnett et al. 2015a). Sex differences were examined using independent samples t-tests, and oneway ANCOVAs were used to investigate the extent to which average hours of sleep explained the variation in the variables when age and sex were considered as covariates. The results showed that sleep statistically significantly explained 1.1 percent of the variance in LMS and 1.0 percent of the variance in BS. Age explained 32.8 percent of the variance in LMS and 40.2 percent of the variance in BS. Boys had significantly higher BS, PA, and ST scores than girls. The older children had higher scores for ST, SB, PA, LMS, BS, and MC and lower scores for sleep and PMC than the younger children. Future studies are needed with data including more variation in children’s total sleeping time, and conduct more accurate assessments to measure in more detail the amount and quality of children’s sleep and its association with motor skills and development.

Keywordschildren (age groups)preschool children (age group)sleepmotor skills (general)self-efficacyphysical activityimmobilityscreen time

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 19:35