Factors influencing Physical Development of a Child B.Ed Notes


Physical development involves the changes in the body, brain, motor skills, senses, and the wellness of an individual. It refers to the growth and development of body parts. Childhood is the period when most of the physical development takes place. When a child goes through physical development, they gain self-confidence which boosts their emotional and social development.

Factors influencing Physical Development

The factors influencing the physical development of a child are as follows:


Heredity refers to the transfer of genes or physical traits from parents to children. It plays a major role in influencing the physical development of a child such as their weight, height, eye color, hair color, body structure, and more. Diseases and illnesses are also known to be transmitted through heredity which can affect a child’s physical development.


The gender of the child also plays a crucial role in their physical development. While nearing puberty, boys and girls grow and develop in different ways. In adolescence, girls mature faster than boys. Boys tend to have a more athletic body. Boys and girls also develop different temperaments.


The development of a child also depends on environmental factors. A child needs a proper and well-nourished environment for proper development. A child who is nurtured in a caring environment will have better physical development over a childhood who is nurtured in a stressful environment.

Health and Exercise

In the context of childhood, exercise does not refer to working out but to playtime activities and games that help the body develop muscular strength. Children who engage in these activities grow properly and have quicker physical development. These activities also keep them healthy.


Nutrition is critical in influencing the physical development of a child. Proper nutrition is necessary because it builds and repairs the body. Lack of proper nutrition can cause a deficiency among children affecting their physical development negatively. Therefore, a balanced diet is important.


Hormones have an influence over various parts of the body. Different glands produce hormones and their proper functioning is essential to ensure normal physical development in children. Hormonal imbalances may cause obesity, growth defects, and other issues.

Socio-economic Status

Children require proper nutrition, nourishment, and nurture when growing up. Without proper care, they may not be able to have proper physical development. Children belonging to poor families may not have the resources required for proper physical development which may cause them to have deficiencies.


Childhood is a period of rapid physical changes due to which there are various factors influencing their physical development. The Austrian philosopher, Rudolf Steiner stated,

“childhood was a state of physical and spiritual being roughly between the ages of seven and fourteen years, indicated initially by certain physiological changes such as the loss of the milk teeth.”

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