The Importance of Fundamental Movement Skills

Fundamental Movement Skills

What are Fundamental Movement Skills?

Physical Literacy is the ability to master all/most of the fundamental movement skills, otherwise known as FMS. Why is this important? Years of research has identified that the more physically literate we are the more likely we are to live active lives. It is so important that the Chief Medical Officer has named improvement in physical literacy as a key combatant towards physical inactivity.

Children in the UK are on average 2 years behind on the development of their fundamental movement skills, likewise UK children are not engaging in sufficient physical activity for health benefit (60 minutes per day).

FMS needs careful consideration because:

  • It doesn’t just happen!
  • It takes combined efforts of children, parents, schools, community sports providers, leisure services and the private sector
  • Not having the skills to play is one major reason for drop out of physical activity and sport
  • considerable evidence suggests children who do not acquire FMS will be less active
  • Emerging evidence that when adults engage in FMS training they will undertake many more activities

FMS according to the David Stodden model shows that mastering FMS will directly relate to how physically active you are and your risk of obesity. The importance of mastering all FMS by the age of 8 is of such importance, it has now added into the National Curriculum. We have simplified David Stodden PhD’s model at the bottom of this infographic.

Fundamental Movement Skills

How can the urban realm facilitate the development of children’s fundamental movement skills and physical activity?

Active cities and design/planning active spaces is not a new concept and there are over 500 findings that support the benefits of cities designed to move. The Government has also published a National Design Guide to promote and facilitate the planning practice guidance for beautiful, enduring and successful places.

If you have any questions about FMS or are planning a project, please get in touch with us at


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