A couple of short years ago, hardly anyone in the world knew the term physical literacy. Now an increasing number of developed nations are making it a public mandate.
A prestigious policy studies organization in Washington D.C. is the latest group to trumpet the call for physical literacy. The Aspen Institute is turning the attention of U.S. policy makers to the problem of sedentary behavior, and they say physical literacy is the solution.
Through the Project Play Initiative, the Aspen Institute has detailed the problem: physical activity has been engineered out of our modern lives, and the consequences are severe and costly.
Here is what they say in their new report:
The downstream consequences of creating sedentary lifestyles have only recently become apparent, and they are considerable. Research shows that physically inactive children are more likely to gain unhealthy amounts of weight, miss school, and perform worse academically. They’re twice as likely to be obese as adults. They’ll earn less at work, have higher health care costs, and take extra sick days. Physical inactivity impairs quality of life, drains economies, and sets in motion a vicious cycle through role modeling; parents who are inactive are 5.8 times more likely to have inactive children.
In their global scan of physical literacy, the Aspen Institute recognizes Canada as one of the three nations that presently lead the way in creating physical literacy initiatives.
The global scan specifically gives a shout-out to the resources and promotional work of Canadian Sport for Life, PHE Canada, and Active for Life.
The full Project Play report adds these Canadian highlights:
- The American Development Model (ADM) implemented by USA Hockey, which includes a sharp focus on physical literacy, was based on Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development model (LTAD).
- Canada has led the way in promoting physical literacy for everyone, inclusive of all abilities.
As more countries adopt mandates to promote physical literacy, it’s great to see Canada recognized for its early leadership in the movement, and specifically Active for Life.