The motor performance of children and adolescents declines. We questioned whether there are differences of motor performance and weight status between preschool children with and without migration background.
A total of 1,063 4- to 5-year-old children were recruited from 41 kindergartens in Tyrol, Austria. The language spoken at home served as the indicator for a migration background. The body mass index (BMI) was calculated using a German BMI reference system. To assess motor performance, the Karlsruhe Motor Screening (KMS) was used.
Out of 1,063 preschool children, 265 were with migration background. KMS total scores were lower with migrant children (97.5 ± 5.9 points) than with children without migration background (100.8 ± 6.6 points; p < 0.001). Compared with 10.4 % of children without migration background, 21.1 % of the migrant children were overweight or obese (p < 0.001).
Motor performance and weight status of preschool children differ significantly depending on the migration status. It seems advisable to offer additional measures to promote physical activity in preschool. Especially children with a migration background should be in the focus.