Effects of Aquatic Motor Activities on Early Childhood Cognitive and Motor Development

M Nissim, R Ram-Tsur, M Zion, Z Mevarech, T. D Ben-Soussan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    While the mental and physical benefits of motor activity are well documented, the degree to which these benefits are dependent upon the environment within which the activity takes place remains unknown. Specifically, studies exploring the effects of aquatic motor activities on cognitive abilities are rare. The current study investigated the effects of aquatic motor activities—as compared to on-land motor activities and non-motor activities—on the development of motor and cognitive abilities in a sample of 94 children aged between four and six. Developmental-functionality tests—including fine and gross motor, time estimation, reasoning and processing speed tests—were used to measure the motor and cognitive abilities of participants before and after six months of intervention. Participation in the aquatic motor activities group was found to improve gross motor, time-estimation and reasoning abilities. Moreover, improvements in gross motor abilities mediated the association between participation in aquatic motor activities group and the children’s processing speed ability. These findings can improve the understanding of child development professionals, psychologists and educators regarding the connection between aquatic environment and cognitive and motor development, and may contribute to improved early childhood interventions.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Pages (from-to)24-39
    Number of pages16
    JournalOpen Journal of Social Sciences
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - 2014


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