Complications from our sedentary lifestyles are seen as the main culprit behind this life expectancy decline. Too much screen time, an unfounded culture of fear that deem it unsafe to allow our children to play outdoors unsupervised and the absence of the simple acts of walking or riding one's bike to school are just some of the contributing issues. However it is the loss of elementary school physical education specialists that is probably the most significant factor in this demise.
As a result, the fundamental skills necessary to be able to fully participate in physical activity are seen to be lacking in a growing number of children and young adults to the point where their physical health is in jeopardy. For many children, the lack of fundamental skills makes even basic physical activities an unpleasant experience thereby contributing to an even more sedentary society and putting increased pressure on an already burgeoning health care system. Just as literacy and numeracy are deemed essential tools for success in the 21st century, there are fractions within the health, education, and recreation sectors who maintain that enhancing a community's appreciation for physical literacy is essential to stem the advancing obesity epidemic.