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Study Shows Lack in Physical Literacy Among Canadian Children

October 4, 2018

A study published Wednesday by BMC Public Health shows two-thirds of Canadian children do not meet healthy physical literacy marks.

Nine and 10 year-old Norah and Zach Hillier were born into an active family, participating together in pairs figure skating with their parents as coaches.

At a young age, they note that skating before school helps them focus in class and have more energy throughout the day.

Other local students ages eight through 12 were observed by a research group at the University of Lethbridge over two years.

Dr. Jennifer Copeland, kinesiology researcher at the University, led undergraduate and graduate students alike in the collection of data from more than 1,300 local children  as part of a national study on physical literacy.

The findings point to the need for increased emphasis on enhancing physical activity programming for children on a number of fronts.

The Canadian Assessment for Physical Literacy, was used to test children's handgrip strength, daily screen time, plank time, body mass index, sit-and-reach, and daily steps taken, and more.

The HALO Research Group at the CHEO Research Institute has been refining the CAPL for the past decade, and facilitated the Canada-wide research with over 10 thousand children, with help from 11 universities.

This research study was made possible in part with support from the RBC Learn to Play Project, an initiative funded by RBC and the Public Health Agency of Canada and delivered in partnership with ParticipACTION, with additional support from Mitacs.