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Analysis Of Human Movement Physical Education Essay

The objective of this paper to have a literature review on fundamental movement skills and also to use the integrated approach of qualitative analysis of human movement to study the FMS performed by the child subject.

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Fundamental movement skills are movement patterns that involve different body parts such as the legs, arms, trunk and head. Fundamental movement skills are the building blocks for playing games, sports, dance, gymnastics, outdoor education and physical recreation activities. The twelve common skills are balancing, running, jumping, catching, hopping, throwing, galloping, skipping, leaping, kicking, striking and dodging (Steps PD ,2007).

Skills have many characteristics that can change in different environment, which makes classifying them difficult. In general, the Skill classification systems are based on the view that motor skills are affected by three factors:

Open skill is refers to the environment is constantly changing and so movements have to be continually adapted. Therefore, skills are predominantly perceptual and mostly externally paced; sports like Football is usually involve open skills.

Close skill take place in a stable, predictable environment and the performer knows exactly what to do. These skills are not affected by the environment and tend to be habitual. Movements follow set patterns and have a clear beginning and end. The skills tend to be self-paced, for example a free throw in Basketball.

The importance and relevance of developing FMS in children

Fundamental motor skills provide a support base of movement from which more advanced skills can be developed. A child individual whose fundamental motor skills are not properly developed will not have a foundation upon which to build proficient movement forms. For example if a child is not able to balance, run, jump, throw, kick, strike, he will not be able to develop proficiency in playing soccer.

The factors effecting the development of FMS


Individuals with inherited impairment will have a significant constraint on the upper limit of performance attainable; there is no guarantee of success for an individual even with extensive and intensive specific practice. For example, one legged individual will definitely not able to dribble a soccer ball on the field.

Social economic status

Studies from WHO have showed that countries with higher socioeconomic status like UK, USA, Australia will have heavier or overweight kids who grow faster that those with lower socioeconomic status, for example in UK, a 3 years old kid are 1/2″ taller than other countries like Laos. These overweight kids will usually spent more time on watching television than exercise; hence studies have shown that these kids tend to be less competent in the skill of running than non-overweight (Informa Health , 2010).


This refers to cultural restriction in certain countries that do not allow individual to play or learn certain sports. Example, in middle countries like Iran because of its strict Islamic dress code, women are not allow to reveal any parts of the body such as face, hand and leg. This prohibits women gymnast in Iran to compete internationally, hence gymnastics is not a popular sport for women in Iran at all.


Environmental constraints is refers to family or social support. Individual can reacts in many different ways to such constraints. This could either motivate an individual to greater heights or cause a dumper on the promising sport careers.


School with good coaching coach or teacher, sport science support, training equipment and facilities will usually have a positive impact on the individual’s development of FMS as compared to those do not have. In Singapore this year another 9 primary schools and 6 secondary schools have been awarded the Program for School-Based Excellence and Niche Program status respectively. The awards aim to encourage greater diversity in schools by helping them to develop their strengths and unique niches. Students would have a more enriched educational experience by having more opportunities to grow in different areas of excellence like Sports.

Assessment of FMS

The assessment of movement skill is a critical component of many disciplines, In particular, the accurate information about the skill level of individual. There are several different ways to measure children’s performance of FMS, each with advantages and disadvantages, namely Quantitative and Qualitative. Quantitative assessment approaches involve measuring the product or outcome of the performance. Qualitative assessment focuses on the form or technique of the movement, namely how the skill is performed (Dr Beth Hands). The 4 stages of qualitative analysis of human movement written by Knudson and Morrison are Preparation, Observation, Evaluation and Diagnosis and Intervention (Duane V. Knudson & Craig S. Morrison, 2002).


The 1st of the 4 tasks of qualitative analysis is preparation. Kinesiology staff preparing for qualitative analysis must have some knowledge on the activity or movement, the performers, and able to give effective instruction as such professionals must continuously update their knowledge in all of these areas.

In this experiment, the subject chosen is a 10 year old kid studying in a neighborhood school. He has no specialize training on athletics except from attending physical education lesson during school time. The critical features of the running movement suggested are as follow:

Preparatory, “Runners to your mark”

Hands sideways at starting line

Stronger foot forward

Opposite knee by opposite toe foot

Head up and eyes looking forward about 2 feet

Preparatory, “Get Set”

Rear end raises up, butt is a little higher then shoulders

Slowly raise to a standing position

Head up and eyes

Execution, “Go”

Lands on ball of the foot

Head stable

Trunk stable

Eyes focused forward

Elbows bent at 90 °

Arms drive forward and back in opposition to the legs

Non-support knee bends at least 90 ° during the recovery phase

Observational strategy

The 2nd task of qualitative analysis is observation. The observation for this experiment is based on a systematic observational strategy (SOS) to gather information about the critical features of a movement. An SOS can be organized based on the phases or sequence of the movement by balance or base of support, by the importance of critical features, or from a general impression to specific aspects of performance. The key elements of an SOS are:

To focus attention,

Control the situation so to optimize observation and the subject’s performance, use variety of sensory information and the interaction of all the senses, not just vision for observation.

Plan vantage points, viewing distances and numbers of observations,

Plan the number of observations,

Extend observational power using tools such as slow motion video replay.

In this experiment, the observation is done by phases of the running movement. The 3 phases for the running movement observed are preparation, execution and follow through. A simple criteria sheet was developed to record the details of the observation in Appendix 1. Critical elements and observation remarks for the running movement were also detailed in Appendix 1.

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Evaluation and diagnosis of performance (

The 3rd task of qualitative analysis of human movement is the evaluation and the diagnosis of performance. The analyst must evaluate the strengths and weakness of the movement’s critical features. The process of diagnosis involves prioritizing the strengths and weaknesses so that intervention can be selected to improve performance. There are 6 rationales that may be used to prioritize intervention:

Relating actions to previous actions,

Maximizing improvement,

Making the easiest corrections first (working in order of difficulty),

Correcting in sequence,

Moving upward from the base of support,

Fixing critical features first.

In this experiment, the evaluation done for the subject is as follow:

The strength

The subject is able to stand at the stronger foot forward before he runs; he is able to keep his eyes focused while is going forward. His truck is stable, and he is able to keep his elbows bent at 900 during the run. He is able to keep his arms swinging forward and back in opposition to the legs. He is able to land on ball of the foot or heels when he is running.

The weakness

The subject is not able to keep his head looking forward when he runs. His head is also tilt upwards; this may hurt his neck during the run. He tends to speed very fast during the initial stage of the run, and he gets very tired before he can finish the run. When he is running, he tends to open his hands, this has created more winds resistance (known as dragging).

Validity and Reliability of the observation

Validity is refers to the extent which a variable has been adequately measured, in the experiment conducted, the critical features of the running movement are captured using a video cam and it is later analyzed repeatedly using video playback, hence both the face validity and content validity relating to the running were captured and observed.

Reliability refers to the extent to which any measuring procedure yields the same results on repeated trials. In the experiment conducted, intra-rater reliability was observed because the different experiment was conducted by the same analyst. In addition, Inter-rater reliability was also observed because the same subject was used in different trials.

Intervention (Strategies for improving performance)

The 4th task of qualitative analysis is the provision of some intervention to help the performer improve. Intervention includes traditional augment verbal feedback like using specific cue word or phrase for intervention and other methods such as using visual models, exaggeration, task modification, manual guidance, conditioning, attentional cueing, ecological intervention to teach and train a person to move better. Another consideration for those who wish to improve performance is the use of positive terms during feedbacks and in language that is age-appropriate or specific to the individual.

So in this experiment, a variety of approaches of intervention are used for the subject for the 2 weakness as observed in the last topic.

The use of age-appropriate cues when teaching the subject to close his hands when he run, example to tell the subject do not run like a duck, must close his hands.

Demonstration by the instructors will be effective, because most people have a visual learning style. Using videos replays from the gold standards or poster of the key body positions in running will also effective.

Through manual guidance by holding the subject’s hand in specific position to give the subject a feel for the actual position or action or to ask subject to freeze on command so that the coach can manually change the subject’s hand posture.

Attentional cueing can involve the coach providing intervention as cue words to guide the subsequent performance. Cue words use like “Close hands”, should focus on the actions of the movement and teach the subject to become more aware of the movement.


Fundamental motor skills provide a wide base of movement abilities where more advanced skills can be developed. A child whose fundamental motor skills are not amply developed will not have a foundation upon which to build proficient movement forms. Using an integrated approach of qualitative analysis of human movement through preparation, observation, evaluation, diagnosis, intervention, coaches and teachers will able to improve the movement of the children.


Steps PD (2007). Foundation movement skill. Retrieved May 24, 2010 from http://www.steps-pd.co.uk/fms.htm

Brian Mac Sport Coach (1997). Skill Classification. Retrieved May 24, 2010 from http://www.brianmac.co.uk/continuum.htm

Informa Health (2010).International Journal of Pediatric Obesity. Retrieved May 24, 2010 from http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17477160903271971

Dr Beth Hands. How can we best measure Fundamental Movement Skills. Retrieved May 24, 2010 from http://escalate.ac.uk/downloads/6831.pdf

AD Okely & ML Booth (2004). Mastery of fundamental movement skills among children in New South Wales: prevalence and sociodemographic distribution. Retrieved May 24, 2010 http://www.jsams.org/article/S1440-2440(04)80031-8/abstract.

Duane V. Knudson & Craig S. Morrison (2002). Qualitative Analysis of Human Movement. Champaign IL: Human kinetics.


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