The Regional Municipality Of York

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Physical Literacy

Physical literacy and movement skills like running, kicking and throwing are essential for optimal growth and development. Without these skills, children and youth withdraw from physical activity and sport and may turn to sedentary or unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Learning to be active at a young age is extremely important because active kids become active adults – who are positive role models.

What is physical literacy?

Physical literacy is the development of fundamental movement skills that allow individuals to move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of activities that benefit the healthy development of the whole person. Physical literacy also includes an individual’s ability to “read” what is going on around them in an activity setting - and react appropriately (Physical and Health Education Canada).

Examples of fundamental movement skills:

  • Kicking
  • Throwing
  • Jumping
  • Hopping
  • Catching
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Skating

Why is physical literacy important?

Physical literacy is essential for optimal growth and development. Less than 10 per cent of Canadian children are meeting the recommended daily minimum physical activity requirements for health benefits.

People who are physically literate are more likely to be active throughout their life. Without physical literacy, many children and youth withdraw from or avoid physical activity and sport and may turn to sedentary or unhealthy lifestyle choices.

School aged children who are physically active have:

  • Better concentration skills and do better in school
  • Develop strong bones and muscles, hand-eye coordination and good posture
  • Have better sleeping patterns, reduced anxiety and a healthier body weight
  • Have opportunities to enhance their social skills
  • Develop emotional maturity
  • Practice their leadership abilities

(City of Burnaby - Burnaby.ca, 2015)




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physical literacy,children,movement skills,active,healthy The Regional Municipality of York en-US A young girl kicking a soccer ball while her mother watches Physical Literacy Children develop physical literacy by learning a wide range of movement skills like jumping, catching, running and throwing. Learning these skills will make them more likely to be active and healthy throughout their entire lives.

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