Canada’s Physical Literacy Consensus Statement

With increasing interest in physical literacy among various stakeholders, there have been many developments in advancing its promotion through a proliferation of initiatives. Excitement around the emergence of this concept has also led to a variety of definitions, and sometimes a misuse of the term by using it interchangeably with ‘physical activity’, ‘physical education’, ‘fundamental movement skills’ or ‘motor skill development’. Consultation with sector leaders in Canada revealed that a common definition was needed and desired. A uniform definition with consistent language would provide clarity for the development of policy, practice and research.

This Statement aims to:

  1. Promote the value of physical literacy and preserve the integrity of the concept;
  2. Advocate for the use of a common definition of physical literacy as defined by the International Physical Literacy Association;
  3. Facilitate strategic alignment within and between the multiple sectors represented in the physical literacy community;
  4. Provide guidance to improve the consistency and clarity of communications relating to physical literacy; and
  5. Inform the consistent and co-ordinated development of physical literacy tools/resources created by various stakeholders.

Definition of Physical Literacy

Physical literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.

-International Physical Literacy Association