More Canadian kids need to be 'physically literate' to set them up for life: study

A study of more than 10,000 Canadian children shows that only about a third have achieved an acceptable level of what's called ``physical literacy.''

Physical literacy goes beyond fitness to include the motivation, confidence and knowledge to engage in physical activities that can help them throughout life.

It also involves basic movement skills such as throwing, catching, running, kicking, and jumping.

Dr. Mark Tremblay, senior scientist at the CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa, says the research provides evidence that Canadian children aged eight to 12 are not meeting the standards of physical literacy.

For example, Tremblay says boys and girls across Canada have aerobic fitness levels at the 30th percentile of global norms and only 20 per cent are meeting physical activity guidelines.

The 2014 to 2017 study looked at children from 11 cities across Canada and was led by the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, or CHEO.