BACKGROUND: Children with developmental coordination disorders (DCD) are less physically active and have significantly different patterns of social and physical play than their well-coordinated peers. FACTORS: The impact of motor incoordination on physical activity engagements throughout life is influenced by a multitude of factors. External factors such as the social, cultural and physical environment may act as either supports or barriers to active physical involvement. Individual characteristics including the unique physical and psychological attributes of the child with motor coordination difficulties also impact on engagement in physically active occupations. RESULT: A model is proposed that conceptualizes the multiple dimensions which impinge on the decisions to select, engage and persist in physical activities for children with developmental coordination disorders. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The occupational therapist's role in promoting a balanced and physically active lifestyle is explored. Interventions to increase physical activity participation for children with DCD are dependent on a full understanding of the complex, multi-dimensional correlates of occupational engagement.
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