Helping kids of all ages to live a more active life through FUNctional movement.
Ohhhh physical activity. Some love it, some hate it but what we can’t deny is how valuable it is to our health.
Physical activity contributes to improved overall wellbeing, decreased health-care costs, increased quality of life and longer life expectancy! However, despite the well known consequences of inactivity, research shows that not nearly enough Canadians are meeting the physical activity recommendations of the 24-hour Movement Guidelines. These guidelines recommend 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day for children and youth. Over the past 2 years, only 2.6% of children and youth were meeting the 24 hour movement guidelines .
The first step is to help them become physically literate.
Like reading and arithmetic, which develop a literary or numerical vocabulary, physical literacy develops a “movement vocabulary”of fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills.
These fundamental movement skills are the basis for moving with competence and confidence in every kind of activity environment (on the ground, both indoor and outdoor, in and on water, on snow and ice, and in the air).
Fundamental movement skills include:
Balance: Standing on one leg, dodging.
Locomotion: Log roll, skip, jump, run, hop.
Manipulation: Overhand throw, underhand throw, catch, sidearm strike, kick, dribbling,
Physical literacy is not just about learning basic fundamental movement skills. It is also about having the competence, confidence and motivation to apply your fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills in new situations.
In schools, once children have begun to learn literacy and numeracy skills, they are tested and graded on their level of comprehension. Parents receive report cards so they can help improve their children’s academic abilities.
Shouldn’t we assess their physical abilities in the same way?
This is where physiotherapists can help! We can assess the quality of your child’s movement skills and then help your little one develop their fundamental movement skills so they can become active for life.
Here are a few way you can develop physical literacy for your little ones:
Opportunities to move in both unstructured and structured environments.
Availability of developmentally-appropriate equipment.
Exposure to fun and challenging activities that produce both successes and failures.
Opportunities to choose between a variety of activities and environments.
High rates of participation for all participants to lead, explore, and innovate.
Need more advice or some inspiration? Try physiotherapy with someone skilled at working with children, like the amazing team at Play On Pediatric Therapy in Barrhaven, Ottawa.