Thousands of primary school children around the country are to have their physical abilities tested as part of research into why many adolescents can't make basic movements.

Just one in ten teens here have properly developed fundamental movement skills like running, skipping and kicking a ball that they should have mastered by the age of 6.

Research has shown that young people who have not fully developed these aptitudes are less likely to go on to participate in regular sport and physical pursuits.

Led by Dublin City University (DCU) and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, the Moving Well-Being Well study will over the next three months assess the abilities of 3,000 children in an effort to understand better the extent to which they haven't developed.

The researchers will use technology, including a bespoke app as well as data analytics tools, to gather and analyse the information, before using the insights to devise an intervention strategy.

Starting in September, this plan will be rolled out to schools, initially by the researchers and Games Promotion Officers from the GAA, and later it's hoped by teachers.

The study will then follow up on the children to assess whether the strategy has worked.

"The project will allow us better understand the current situation regarding the physical literacy of Irish children and we will then use the unique insights this generates to develop novel approaches to address what is a key challenge for Irish society," said Professor Noel O'Connor from Insight.

While many older adults take for granted the ability to carry out FMS, international research has found many of today's young people struggle with such skills.

Indeed a 2014 study conducted by DCU found only 11 per cent of Irish adolescents had mastered them.

The researchers say this is due to the more sedentary lifestyles of young people today, increased parental protectiveness and teachers being ill-equipped to deal with the problem.

"This was an unprecedented low," said Dr Johann Issartel from DCU's School of Health and Human Performance in a statement.

"It's a potential catastrophe for public health because the inability to perform Fundamental Movement Skills leads to an aversion to sports and exercise later in life."

The GAA and Dublin GAA is supporting the research and its Games Promotion Officers, who work closely with schools, are currently being trained.

"I don't think we need to be alarmist here bu there is a problem and this project aims to tackle it in the most child-centred, activity based, learner-led, achievement-oriented, fun-filled and value-laden manner possible," said GAA Director of Games Development and Research, Pat Daly.