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Physical literacy: why should we embrace this construct?
  1. E Paul Roetert1,
  2. Todd S Ellenbecker2,
  3. Dean Kriellaars3
  1. 1College of Health and Human Performance, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  2. 2Select Physical Therapy Scottsdale Sports Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
  3. 3College of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  1. Correspondence to E Paul Roetert, College of Health and Human Performance, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; eproetert{at}gmail.com

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In this editorial, we provide a brief explanation of the physical literacy construct and its potential to contribute to the education, safety and overall development of a healthy life for the full lifespan. Although there has been a significant focus on teaching the competence component of being physically active, there has been a lack of focus on teaching people the confidence, desire, motivation, enjoyment and social benefits of physical activity.1–3 Therefore, we challenge the sports medicine and health-related professions to embrace and implement physical literacy’s holistic approach (both mind and body) to physical activity. The term physical literacy has been used in the academic literature since the 1930s1; however, it was not until the 1990s that the construct was re-introduced, embraced by several countries and gained significant attention.1–3 Following a number of iterations, the International Physical Literacy Association settled on the following definition: Physical Literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge, and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.4 Much of the available research thus far has focused on the sport and education sectors and specifically on the younger generation.1 3 5

Focusing on the younger generation can have a substantial impact on the health of future generations. However, as the definition indicates, physical literacy is …

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