Lay the foundation for an active life

In today’s society, participation in physical activity isn’t very high on the daily list of priorities, even though we all know the amazing benefits of heart-pumping activity like increased fitness, reduced risk of chronic disease, and improved mental health and well- being.

Even further down the priority list is physical literacy - the development of the physical skills, confidence, motivation, and competence to engage in physical activity and sport. It’s a complex concept, but one that is becoming increasingly more important when we talk about physical activity.

Here are a few key points about physical literacy:    

Physical literacy is a journey, not a destination.
It’s considered a “cradle to grave” development period – meaning you can start developing skills in infancy (through play and movement), continue to develop through childhood (which is a VERY important time to learn fundamental movement skills such as catching, running, jumping, swimming, and throwing), and refine through adulthood and the senior years. In addition, part of the journey involves learning skills in a variety of environments like on the ground, in the water, on snow and ice, and in the air.

Physical literacy isn’t just for athletes or sport participation.
It is for everyone - regardless of culture, age, gender, socio-economic background and physical ability – and the benefits of developing physical literacy extend beyond being good at sports to being able to participate in life experiences like playing with your kids at the playground to climbing a ladder and hammering a nail. 

Physical literacy lays the foundation for an active life.
It is considered a gateway to a physically active life – because if you have confidence in your ability to move you are more likely to participate in activities that require movement (taking a hike, going for a swim, joining the office baseball team).

Want to learn more about physical literacy? Check out these resources and articles:

ParticipACTION and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador are working together, with support from Recreation NL, to inspire families to make physical activity a higher priority in daily life.