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ESSA Statement: ASC Release Definition of Physical Literacy

With the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) announcing their release of a definition of Physical Literacy last week, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) welcomes the release, confirming the importance of a nation-wide standard and definition.

“ESSA supports the ASC’s definition and national standard, as it will allow all relevant sectors to then work together to support and encourage Australians to improve their physical literacy, leading to a healthier nation overall,” explains ESSA Chief Executive Officer, Anita Hobson-Powell.

With 1.1 million Australians living with at least one chronic condition or illness, ESSA believes a physical literacy focus will encourage Australians to be physically active more frequently, helping to reduce the risk of developing a chronic condition, or to manage the symptoms for those already living with one.

Despite 11.6 million Australian adults participating in sport or physical activity three or more times per week, statistics show us that 60 per cent of adults are still not engaging in enough physical activity each day, increasing their risk of developing a chronic condition, or worsening one they may already live with.

The statistics are then much worse for children.

“Although 3.2 million Australian children participate in organised sport or physical activity outside of school, the 2016 AKHA Report Card shows us that only a poorly 19% of young children are accumulating the recommended 60 minutes of exercise a day,” says Ms Hobson-Powell.

Due to the lack of physical literacy available to parents, coaches, teachers, friends and family of children, specifically the ‘tools’ children need to be physically active to benefit their health, ESSA released an educational platform, Exercise Right for Kids, earlier this year.

“The release of the ASC’s Physical Literacy definition will help provide further importance for the need of research-based, easy to access resource platforms, like Exercise Right for Kids, to educate Australians on the benefits of exercise on a child’s physical and mental health.”

Download the Physical Literacy: Informing a Definition and Standard for Australia report that informed the development of a physical literacy definition and standard for Australia.

The draft Australian Physical Literacy Standard is now available for public comment. The ASC is encouraging Australians to consider the draft standard and provide feedback on this important body of work that will have an impact on generations to come.

Find out more about the draft Standard here.