Physical and Health Literacies
Physical Literacy means . . .
. . . moving with confidence and competence in a wide variety of activities and environments that develop the whole person.
Health literacy means that . . .
. . . you can understand information about your health, so you know how to take care of yourself and make good decisions.
The original article was written for and published by Education Times in Australia, a journal for students. June 2015.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century[i].
The Australia 2014 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth tells us that Australia, like many other countries, is experiencing an “inactivity epidemic.” This is partly the result of sedentary technologies such as computers, video games and television.
In addition to a lack of sufficient physical activity the obesity epidemic is also a result of dangerous eating habits. The current generation of students will be the first who are destined to live shorter lives than their parents.
What can you do? Become informed – develop Physical and Health literacies! Here are some specific things you can do that will not only increase your knowledge and understanding but that will also benefit your community! They are good for you, they are fun and they are also excellent ways to help you make the connection between the classes you take in school (science, math, history, etc.) and the real world. You will notice that these activities also utilize some of the other literacies we’ve learned about so far such as Arts and Creativity as Literacies in February, Ecoliteracy in March, Media Literacy in April and Financial Literacy in May!
Television Production is a powerful way to educate people and create change. Your “studio” can be a small room with a green screen, or even your smartphone – in which you can film, edit and publish online!
Create your own television channel on YouTube where you can broadcast a variety of programs including: public service announcements, a cooking show, a fitness program, a gardening/farming show!
Explore Careers related to Physical Fitness and Health – or organize a career fair.
There are many possibilities for careers related to health. You could become a doctor or a nurse.
Other fields you may not have considered include interesting careers such as Art Therapist, Medical Historian, Medical Illustrator/Animator, Environmental Health Specialist, Forensic Scientist, and many more. Explore them here.
Start a Food Revolution at home, at school or in your community. Watch this powerful TED Talk with renowned chef, Jamie Oliver -
Also, please sign and share this petition to have food education in schools, teaching children how to grow and prepare healthy, fresh foods.
Be a Farmer!
Classroom farms are educational, healthy and fun!
Plant a Kitchen Garden at your school, or create a community garden. Window farm at school or at home! 837 schools in Australia have joined the movement at the Kitchen Garden Foundation.
Host a Twitter Chat – here is a complete guide for how to do a Health Literacy Twitter Chat, from how to choose a topic, invite content experts and sponsor as guests to planning post-chat follow up activities!
Guests could include bloggers, media, public servants, organization leaders, or celebrities—it all depends on the chat’s central topic and its goals and objectives!
Publish a Book! Health and Physical Fitness A to Z!
Choose one fact or idea related to health or physical fitness for each letter of the alphabet, write about it and illustrate. Then publish your book. It can be created digitally, and then sold online. Customers may purchase your book in print or digital format.
Take a look at this beautiful book, Absolute Zero – Physics A to Z produced by the students at High Tech High in California.
Apps for Physical Fitness and Health Literacies