Being physically literate is not the same as being physically active. You can be fit without possessing physical literacy, and conversely, you can be physically literate and choose not to be active.

For this reason, the questions that measure overall fitness, are not included in the Physical Literacy Score. However, this is not to say that fitness is unimportant; it is simply distinct from physical literacy. Understanding both fitness and physical literacy are important to the healthy development of all children.

The Fitness Score, when used in conjunction with the PLAY tools, is a simple way to determine if the child’s abilities, or lack thereof, are preventing them from being physically active. This can help identify the potential need for the child to be more physically active and develop some or all of their fitness components.

Heath-related fitness components include: cardiovascular fitness (a healthy heart and system of delivering blood); strength (maximal force) and endurance (high repetition of contractions); flexibility (range of motion in joints); and body composition (bones, muscles, fat, etc.).


For some individuals (children and adults alike), these fitness components, or lack thereof, create barriers for participation in physical activity.

Canadian Sport for Life has developed an easy-to-use warm-up for children who are involved in physical activity. The warm-up incorporates several dynamic movements in order to improve a child’s physical literacy while they prepare their body for activity.

The “Developing Physical Literacy Warm-up” is broken down into three age groups: 7-8, 9-10 and 11+, with different activities and guidelines for each category.

The warm-up should last between 15 and 20 minutes and is specifically designed to improve physical literacy, as well as reduce the child’s risk of injury during activity.

See the Developing Physical Literacy Warm-up to find ways of improving agility and running competencies: