Operationally defining physical literacy in Chinese culture: Results of a meta-narrative synthesis and the Panel's recommendations

Ming Hui Li, Margaret Whitehead, Nigel Green, Hai Ren, Chih Fu Cheng, Linda Li Chuan Lin, Ching Ping Lin, Yang Liu, Xu Wen, Si Man Lei, Hongjuan Li, Deng Yau Shy, Yan Tang, Siu Ming Choi, Yan Huang, Ruisi Ma, Fong Jia Wang, Sitong Chen, Raymond Kim Wai Sum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The definition of physical literacy (PL) needs to be explored by researchers from educational, public health, and sports organisations in Chinese culture; an adequate definition and theoretical framework of PL can then be embraced within different contexts and according to cultural influences. Methods: This meta-narrative synthesis of literature in this area included a series of planning, search, mapping, appraisal, synthesis, and recommendation phases. The literature was translated into English and circulated among international experts to seek suggestions. A total of 74 articles were included in the PL definition synthesis and 28 were included for philosophical synthesis in this study. Results: Based on three rounds of discussions, the final agreement was reached among panel members regarding the defining statements and practical and theoretical models of PL in Chinese culture. According to consensus, PL is the integration of physical, perceptual, cognitive, psychological, and behavioural capabilities, echoing with the need for an active, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle, which involves continuous positive interactions with the environment and embodied engagement in physical activities for life. The framework addressed five domains (physical, sensory-perceptual, cognitive, psychological, and behavioural) and one important overlapping factor (dynamic environment). A further explanation was provided in the defining statement to assist in understanding the concept. Conclusion: It is suggested that the cultural interpretation and historical background of PL in Chinese discourse should be addressed and respected. The development of a specific cultural definition statement of PL in one country could provide implications for PL researchers worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-248
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Exercise Science and Fitness
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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