Physical Literacy – what is it & why is it important?

Written by Coryn Littler

January 2, 2020


The importance of being ‘physically literate’ is just as profound as being literate in reading, language and numeracy – Clearing House for Sport and Physical Activity. 

It’s a term we are hearing more and more, but did you know the concept of physical literacy hails back to the 90’s?

The International Physical Literacy Association, points to the philosophy of physical literacy being conceived and published in 1993 by Margaret Whitehead at the International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women Congress in Melbourne.

Clearinghouse for Sport and Physical Activity, an information and knowledge sharing platform for Australian Sport, defines physical literacy as the development of skills, knowledge and behaviours that provide the confidence and motivation to lead an active life.

This encompasses holistic, lifelong learning through movement and physical activity which helps people at every life stage develop and maintain positive physical activity behaviours which deliver physical, psychological, social, cognitive health and well-being….

Sport Australia have released a position statement which outlines their commitment to creating a healthier generation of more active Australians through a strategy of establishing a common language and four domains to support people in developing physical literacy.

The four areas of focus are as follows:

  • Physical Domain: physical skills and fitness
  • Psychological Domain: feelings, attitudes and emotions that motivate you to be active
  • Cognitive Domain: knowledge and understanding of how, why and when you move
  • Social Domain: ability to interact be active with others.

You can learn more and download Sport AUS’s Position Statement and Framework HERE.  

Read more about Fitness Australia’s endorsement HERE. 



See more information on Fitness Institute’s Qualifications HERE and how to add Qualifications to develop fitness programs for children and adolescents HERE. 

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