Physical Development of Six-and Seven-Year-Old Children in Riga and Latvian Regions

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The growth and maturation of a child's body are going on continuously, but unevenly. Therefore, children of the same age may have different growth and functional abilities. On the initiative of the Latvian government, a pilot project was launched, which aims to evaluate the readiness of children to start school at the age of six as well as compare physical development, separate functional abilities, and posture for six and seven-year-old children of regions of Latvia and Riga preschool educational institutions. The study involved 918 children, who were divided into two groups-Riga (R) and regions of Latvia (RL). Respondents in each group were further divided by age-six-and seven-year-olds, and by sex. Anthropometric parameters were determined for each individual's height, weight, chest circumference, lung vital capacity (PVC), forearm flexor muscle strength, and posture. In our study, the mean values of height for six-year-old girls were: R-117.6 ± 5.8 cm, RL-117.1 ± 6.3 cm, for boys R-118.7 ± 5.0 cm, RL-118.6 ± 5.1 cm. Seven-year-old children had an average increase in chest circumference of 1 to 2 cm, both by sex and by place of residence. Symmetrical posture was observed only for six-year-old children in 23.1% of cases and 17.1% of seven-year-old children. 59.5% of the children in the study group spent more than one hour a day watching TV, and 66.3% played computer games every day. The results of the study showed that children aged six and seven years grew and functionally developed very differently and individually. These age groups of children did not have accelerated growth ages; there were no large annual increases. A relatively small sex dimorphism was observed. The readiness of six-year-old children to start school should be assessed very individually by the child's parents in collaboration with the pediatrician.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Section B: Natural, Exact, and Applied Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • 6-and 7-years old children
  • functional maturation
  • physical development
  • posture

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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