The trend in recent years shows that children are moving less and less. An increase can be seen in the number of young people aged 4 to 20 who are overweight. In addition, more and more organizations are sounding the alarm about exercise poverty among children. In addition to indicating the level of movement, this level could also indicate the health status of these children, as well as a child’s potential in elite sports. The research team from the ‘Sport & Talent’ faculty, part of Hogeschool Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN), uses a method based on the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder (KTK) to determine movement level. However, the materials of this test are not attractive to purchase due to their limited mobility and functionality. To solve this problem, HAN contacted Embedded Fitness and BOSAN to look at redesigning the KTK to make it more attractive to purchase for schools and sports clubs.

The KTK entered the market in Germany in 1974. In 2007, the test was renewed and released in the Netherlands. Recently, interest in this test has begun to grow.
The test is designed for children between 5 and 12 years old, which is why it is mainly popular with elementary schools. The test consists of four different components from which can be determined how good the overall body coordination is of the participating children.

EF, HAN SENECA and Bosan have jointly developed the BLOC TEST based on the KTK test. A practical and scientifically based testing model to measure, monitor and compare children’s motor skills according to the latest findings. HAN already has test data from more than 20,000 children. These data lead to reliable and validated data that allows comparison of individual scores against large groups. From this, targeted activities, interventions and gym classes can be developed that address needs and disadvantages. The Bloc test has since prompted scientific publications.
The materials used for the KTK are not usually found in the gymnasium. These are materials that must be purchased specifically to administer the test. However, this means that these materials are more difficult to use for other purposes in the gymnasium. The materials of the BLOC test have been improved. The set has become lighter and more durable as well as multi-purpose. The beams are made of aluminum and easily installed in an attachment base. The beams can now also be used as field hockey goals or demarcation of a playing field. Because the materials have become much lighter, it is more attractive to take the set to another location. Embedded Fitness also investigated whether application of sensors could make the test faster and more accurate. This is not possible for all parts and is therefore not yet included in this development.

Scientifically based

There have been several scientific publications on the BLOC test (called KTK3+ test in the literature) in recent years. The original test was developed in Germany in 1974 by Kiphard and Schilling. The University of Arnhem and Nijmegen, together with Ghent University and the UMCG, further developed the test for practical application. This led to a validation article in Frontiers in 2018, click here for the article . Among other things, this study shows that the test is appropriate for both those children with less well-developed motor skills and those children who achieve excellent scores. The three knowledge institutions have also shown that children’s athletic learning ability is related to the development of gross motor skills as measured by the BLOC test, see the publication in Human Movement Sciences. Other scientists have shown that the score on the BLOC test is a good predictor of future athletic success. With that, let O’Brien-Smith show that the test also has value in predicting future sports success and relevance to organized sport.

Want to know more?

Wouter Hebbink of Arnhem and Nijmegen University of Applied Sciences will tell you all about the application of the BLOC test. Call him at 06 29819346 or leave a question or comment.

Several publications are expected next year. Colleagues at Ghent University demonstrate further validation of the BLOC test for 6- to 19-year-olds. Publication will follow shortly. With the University of Münster, we are working on a paper on individual development of motor skills as measured by the BLOC test of 6-12 year old children. Finally, we expect a publication in the near future on a comparison between the BLOC test and the MQ school test regarding the classification of children by levels.

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