What Is Physical Education? Definition And Overview

Physical education is a course that centres on developing physical, emotional, social and mental fitness in youth same as other subjects. The course is required in primary, secondary school and also in college. For us to have a deep understanding of what physical education is, we must have a comprehensive understanding of physical fitness which it intends to promote.

Physical Education

Component of physical fitness in physical education

1.Cardiovascular fitness

This is the ability of the heart and lungs to transport the required oxygen the body needs to carry out its daily tasks. Such as walking, jogging, running, skipping and swaying.

2. Strength

This is the amount of physical power that the muscle or set of muscles can use to counter a weight or resistance. such as weight lifting and body weight training.

3. Endurance

This is the capability of a muscle or group of muscles to carry the same movements at a regular interval or grasp a position over a certain period of time. Eg. The marathon race is an activity that helps to develop endurance.


This refers to the body variety of movement. yoga and gymnastics help promote this specific fitness component.

5. Body composition

This refers to the proportion of the body’s fat component vs. its lean mass. This helps to address cardiovascular fitness which is: strength, endurance, and flexibility to reduce fat and the build-up of muscle.

To break the boredom of the conventional Physical Education courses, many institutes have restructured their physical education programs. such as:

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i. The inclusion of non-traditional sports.

ii. The inclusion of martial arts for self-defence. eg: Karate, taekwondo, judo etc.

iii. The inclusion of health and nutrition topics.

iv. Exposure to technological equipment eg. gym equipment, pedometers and heart rate monitors.

What Is The Scope Of Physical Education?

Physical activity must be learned; hence there is a need for thinking on the part of the intellectual mechanism, with a resulting acquisition of knowledge. Physical activities are essential for the development of a child’s scientific insight, intelligence and superior type of reflective thinking.

What Physical Education Does?

Physical education develops the body in the following areas:

1. The Organic systems of the body

it is assumed that our emotional state, the point of view and accomplishments are influenced to a considerable extent by the bodily process of the body. The growth of the organic vigour is dependent on a wide range of activities and so conducted that the typical tasks of the body are developed and upgraded.

It is assumed that our emotional state, the point of view and accomplishments are influenced to a considerable extent by the bodily process of the body. The growth of the organic vigour is dependent on a wide range of activities and so conducted that the typical tasks of the body are developed and upgraded.

2. Neuromuscular coordination or skill

A good deal of physical activities in physical education helps individu­als and groups to cultivate certain skills, which gives fulfilment and contentment in a variety of ways during relaxation. Many people that are physical illiterate don’t know how to enjoy their free time. As a result of this, they are unhappy and disturbed. Individual and group carrying physical activities enable people to give wholesome expression to their inborn desires and well-being.

3. Accurate attitude towards physical activities

Program of physical education is grounded in wide-ranging psychological principles. It develops amongst the individu­als healthy attitudes towards play and physical activi­ties and promotes entertaining hobbies.

4. To develop a desired social attitudes and comportment

By giving emphasis on moral values essential in playing games with and against others the desired social attitudes and conduct can be developed through a progra­m of well-organized physical activities. It gives an avenue for social contact, group living, and self-adjustment with the group.

5. To develop correct healthy habit

A program of physical activities can ignite the participant to cultivate favourable attitudes and lifestyles in physical, mental, moral, social and emotional health.

6. To cultivate the spirit of certain abilities

Team spirit, Sportsmanship, leadership, patience, self-restraint cooperation, sociability and those other qualities of citizenship and character.

Aspect Of Physical Education

There are four aspects in which physical education can benefit to the participant. This can become learning domains for individuals. They are:

1. Physical domain

The physical domain includes physical proficiency, fundamental motor skills, health and skill interrelated fitness, method and psychomotor skills.

2. Social domain

The social domain would include governance, working with peers, considering others with sensitivity, playing by the rules and communication.

3. Affective domain

The effective domain would be enthusiasm, self-confidence, self-esteem, and engagement.

4. Cognitive domain

The cognitive domain would be knowledge and understanding of the healthy and active standard of living, awareness of rules and tactics, response and understanding of how to perform.

Careers In Physical Education

The following are careers in physical education;

1. Sport Journalist

2. Coach

3. Physical therapist

4. Health Educator

5. Fitness instructor

6. Sport Managers

7. Assistant Professors

8. Teachers

9. Physical education trainer

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Who hires these professionals?

  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Fitness Centres
  • Colleges
  • Sports Academy

Basic Subject Requirements

The subject combination and requirements needed to study Physical Education;

Five SSCE credits and merit passes in five subjects including Biology and English Language.

Universities in Nigeria that offers Physical Education

University of Calabar (UNICAL)

University of Ibadan (UI)

Ahmadu Bello University (ABU)

Ambrose Alli University (AAU)

Bayero University Kano (BUK)

Benue State University (BSU)

Delta State University (DELSU)

Enugu State University Of Science And Technology (ESUT)

Lagos State University (LASU)

Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK)

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)

University of Jos (UNIJOS)

Ekiti State University (EKSU)

Lead City University (LCU)

University Of Mkar (UNIMKAR)

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