Children That Spend Time Barefoot May Have Increased Motor Skills

By August 02, 2018

A study has shown that children who spend most of their time barefoot have increased motor skills and are better in jumping and balancing scientist say.

This study is published in the journal "Frontiers in Pediatrics". It assessors the relevance of growing up with shoes vs barefoot, in motor performance such as jumping, balancing and sprinting during the different stages of child development.

Reports show that children who habitually walk barefoot are noticeably better in jumping and balancing compare to those children who wear shoes particularly between the ages of 6-10 years.

This research also highlights the importance of barefoot exercise for motor skill development as a child grows and matures.

Astrid Zech, a professor at the University of Jena in Germany said: "Walking barefoot is widely thought to be more natural and the use of footwear has long been discussed as an influencing factor on foot health and movement pattern development".

A few more studies report that barefoot walking may changes the biomechanics in children during running and jumping. "We wanted to investigate for the first Time, whether changes in foot mechanics may create any impact on developing motor skills and balancing" Professor Zech explained.

Researchers accessed three motor skills, balancing, standing long jump and a 20-meter sprint in 810 children. Children from 22 schools selected across rural western cape South Africa and urban areas of Germany. The rural western cape children are habitually barefoot in nature and urban areas of German children wear shoes. Those children who are habitually barefoot scored higher marks in balancing and jumping compared to the children who wore shoe.

Most of the primary school students used in our research from South Africa, go to school and perform sporting activities barefoot. “Our finding is that these children perform better in balancing and jumping and supports the hypothesis that the development of motor skills is improved when a child walks on bare feet during childhood,” said Ranel Venter from Stellenbosch University .who lead the South African team.

Overall research shows that barefoot activities improve the motor skill development.

Reference:
PTI, "Spending Time Barefoot May Boost Kids' Balancing, Jumping Skills", DNAIndia, 11th July 2018

Last modified on Thursday, 02 August 2018 14:14