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In Journal of sports sciences ; h5-index 52.0

Application of machine learning techniques has the potential to yield unseen insights into movement and permits visualisation of complex behaviours and tangible profiles. The aim of this study was to identify profiles of relative motor competence (MC) and movement behaviours in pre-school children using novel analytics. One-hundred and twenty-five children (4.3 ± 0.5y, 1.04 ± 0.05 m, 17.8 ± 3.2 kg, BMI: 16.2 ± 1.9 kg.m2) took part in this study. Measures included accelerometer-derived 24-h activity, MC (Movement Assessment Battery for Children second edition), height, weight and waist circumference, from which zBMI were derived. Self-Organised Map (SOM) analysis was used to classify participants' profiles and a k-means cluster analysis was used to classify the neurons into larger groups according to the input variables. These clusters were used to describe the individuals' characteristics according to their MC and PA compositions. The SOM analysis indicated five profiles according to MC and PA. One cluster was identified as having both the lowest MC and MVPA (profile 2), whilst profiles 4 and 5 show moderate-high values of PA and MC. We present a novel pathway to profiling complex tenets of human movement and behaviour, which has never previously been implemented in pre-school children, highlighting that the focus should change from obesity monitoring, to "moving well".Abbreviations: MC: Motor competence; PA: Physical activity; MVPA: Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity; SOM: Self-organized map; BMI: Body mass index; MABC2: Movement assessment battery for children 2nd edition; MANOVA: Multiple analysis of variance.

Clark Cain C T, Duncan Michael J, Eyre Emma L J, Stratton Gareth, García-Massó Xavier, Estevan Isaac


Motor competence, cluster analysis, machine learning, physical activity, unsupervised