Original Research

Normal ranges for proprioceptive tasks in 6-year-old children in Mangaung

Carmen Bonafede, Elna Van der Merwe
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 13, No 1 | a1243 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v13i1.1243 | © 2023 Carmen Bonafede, Elna Van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 July 2022 | Published: 19 June 2023

About the author(s)

Carmen Bonafede, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Elna Van der Merwe, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Abstract

Background: A well-developed proprioceptive system is essential for motor control, muscle tone and voluntary movements. Sound proprioceptive development of young children can positively influence their motor abilities, while adequate movement abilities consequently form a strong foundation for young children entering the formal school setting.

Aim: This study aimed to establish normal ranges for proprioceptive tasks in 6-year-old children.

Setting: This study was conducted in the Mangaung, Motheo district, including 10 schools from five different quintiles.

Methods: One hundred and ninety-three, 6-year-old participants (mean: 6.46, SD 0.27 years) were included in the study, of which 97 (50.3%) were boys and 96 (49.7%) were girls. Five field-appropriate tasks were identified to establish participants’ proprioceptive abilities. Statistical analysis was largely descriptive of nature, and normal ranges were established based on the interquintile range of each task, which represented the middle 50% of data (between the 25th and 75th percentiles).

Results: Normal ranges were identified as follows: 6–10 successful repetitions for the Angels-in-the-snow task; 22–30 s for the Rhomberg task; two to three successful repetitions per arm for the finger-to-nose task; two to four successful repetitions for the shoulder-level-arm raise (both arms and preferred arm), one to four successful repetitions for the shoulder-level-arm raise (non-preferred arm) and correct identification during the force perception task.

Conclusion: Most tasks had a ceiling effect, and thus it is necessary for practitioners to use these established normal ranges of proprioceptive tasks for 6-year-olds to identify children with proprioceptive difficulties.

Contribution: Proprioceptive difficulties of 6-year-olds can be identified using the normal ranges established.


Keywords

proprioceptive system; development, norms; Angels-in-the-snow; Rhomberg; finger-to-nose; shoulder-level-arm-raise; force perception.

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