Active for Life podcast: Dr. John Cairney on the importance of physical literacy

Dr. John Cairney wears many hats. He’s a professor in the kinesiology and physical education faculty at the University of Toronto, as well as director of the Infant and Child Health Lab at both U of T and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. He’s also the chair of Sport for Life’s research group for physical literacy.

It’s safe to say Cairney is an expert on the role physical activity plays in the health of children.

Active for Life editor-in-chief Richard Monette talked with Cairney about how he defines physical literacy, why he believes it’s just as important as other forms of literacy for overall child health and development, and how to help kids become physically literate.

As Cairney puts it, “We don’t just drop a book in a child’s lap and say, ‘Here you go, learn to read.’ We support their development and their reading habits and give them the tools that they need in order to be effective readers. In physical activity, we often sometimes assume that children just naturally have the skills that they need in order to be physically active, and we know from the research that that’s simply not true.”

Listen by clicking the play button below:

2 responses to “Active for Life podcast: Dr. John Cairney on the importance of physical literacy

  1. Well done Richard👏🏻 and a great launch to the AFL podcast. There’s a strong message here, from a reputable leader in the field. I particularly enjoyed the bit about active transportation and the need for collaborative efforts among different groups to bring forward accessibility to users ie. safe spaces/safe routes. After all, active transport is an effective way to work physical movement into a daily routine. And active school travel is a valuable solution to help with physical inactivity in children.

    1. Thank you fo your kind words Van. It takes a village and many streams of action to create a physically literate society. Active transportation is certainly a key elements in this evolution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *