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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Associations between children's physical literacy and well-being: is physical activity a mediator?

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BACKGROUND: Physical literacy (PL) is a multi-dimensional concept that provides a holistic understanding of movement and physical activity. PL contains an affective, a physical, and a cognitive domain, which together lay the foundation for the individual's capacity and the tendency for participating in physical activities currently and throughout life. PL is increasingly regarded as a 'cause of the causes' to health promotion. Cross-sectional studies have shown associations between children's PL, physical activity behaviours, and well-being. This study aims to examine the associations between Danish children's PL and their physical and psychosocial well-being and whether the associations are mediated by moderate- to vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA).

METHODS: Cross-sectional data from Danish schoolchildren aged 7-13 years were collected in Jan-Dec 2020 in the Danish Assessment of Physical Literacy (DAPL) project. PL was assessed with the DAPL which measures the affective, cognitive, and physical domains of PL. MVPA (min/day) was measured with accelerometers (Axivity), psychosocial well-being was measured with The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and physical well-being was measured with the KIDSCREEN questionnaire. Structural equation models were constructed with PL and MVPA as predictors of physical well-being and four aspects of psychosocial well-being.

RESULTS: A positive moderate association between PL and physical well-being, partly mediated by MVPA was observed. PL was positively associated with the positive aspects of psychosocial well-being and negatively associated with the negative aspects (behaviour problems). None of the associations between PL and aspects of psychosocial well-being were mediated by MVPA.

CONCLUSIONS: The study contributes to evidence on the link between PL, physical activity, and health outcomes. The study found beneficial relations between PL and physical and psychosocial well-being. MVPA mediated part of the relationship between PL and physical well-being but not psychosocial well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1267
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1267
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Child, Cross-Sectional Studies, Exercise/psychology, Health Promotion, Humans, Literacy, Surveys and Questionnaires

ID: 79184134