Physical literacy and Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs

Darla M. Castelli, Erin E. Centeio, Aaron E. Beighle, Russell L. Carson, Hildi M. Nicksic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this paper is to make a case for Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) to be the organizational framework for providing physical activity opportunities for children that is most likely to result in physical literacy. Method: Beginning in 2010, the authors used multiple search engines to ascertain the existent literature surrounding physical literacy and physical activity interventions to identify common approaches to providing physically activity in and around school. Grounded in the Health Belief Model and the idea that physical literacy is a desired outcome of physical education, publications focused on each of the components of the CSPAP were synthesized to describe evidence-based practice. Results: There is adequate evidence to suggest that quality physical education, before/after school, during school, staff involvement, and family and community engagement can serve as logical points of intervention to provide increased opportunities for physical activity participation leading to physical literacy among children. Conclusions: Since only 6% of all children participate in daily physical education classes and only six states offer K-12 physical education, the implementation of CSPAP may be the most logical avenue for providing greater opportunities for physical activity engagement that fosters physical literacy as a health-oriented educational goal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Children
  • Physical activity
  • Schools
  • Whole-of-school approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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