The Benefits of Physical Education Programs in School


Physical education, also called Phys Ed, PE, gym or sports, and in some jurisdictions as a health class or physical education and practice is usually a course that students are required to take prior to entering school. However, students may choose to declare this course independent of any school requirement. Students can choose to pursue a career related in physical education after completing their athletic eligibility. If you choose this path, you should have no trouble finding a career as a physical education or fitness teacher.

In most states physical education is a compulsory subject in public elementary and secondary schools. However, a few jurisdictions, such as Washington, have laws that allow for optional participation in a health education or fitness program for students who otherwise do not meet the grade point average requirement to be enrolled in the regular classroom grade level. In Washington, grades are based on performance in the classroom rather than standardized testing. That is, if your child doesn’t perform as well on the state standardized tests you will still have a pass grade, but your child will be able to participate in a health education or fitness program. Participating in the program does not affect grades in the classroom.

Grades for physical education and fitness vary from “pass” to “exceed”. Usually, students who pass the minimum grade in a given course will earn a “pass”. Exceeding the minimum grade earns a “star”, while “star” participants earn an” Excellence” or “Award” medal.

Participating in a physical education or fitness program can help students develop and foster healthy lifestyles that promote physical activity and mental health. The health benefits of exercise and activity extend beyond weight loss. Studies have shown that participation in a regular activity can help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, decrease the risk of osteoporosis, and decrease the chance of developing diabetes. Regular physical activity also helps to promote weight control and helps to maintain muscle strength.

Participating in a regular physical fitness program also promotes social interaction and healthy communication skills. In studies of school children, social interaction and communication skills were found to be positively related to academic success. A physically active curriculum promotes independent learning, intellectual skills, and self-esteem. Studies have indicated that physical education and fitness can help to reduce student anxiety and tension, improve concentration and focus, reduce behavioral issues such as violence and aggression, and increase self-esteem and confidence. Finally, a physically fit curriculum promotes healthy body posture and increases the physical conditioning of students.

Academic performance in school daydreams was associated with low self-esteem and increased body fat. A study by the University of Michigan supports the claim that a curriculum emphasizing physical education and fitness can lead to improved academic performance. The study found that students who participated in a regular physical education and fitness class performed better in mathematics test scores, had higher reading test scores, and took less time on the Busy Classroom assessment. A separate study from the American College of Sports Medicine found that participating in a regular physical activity program significantly reduced the risk of sudden death among high school students. These results support the claim that a healthy curriculum promotes physical health and academic performance.

Another benefit of a strong physical education and fitness program is that it helps to develop motor skills. Physical education and fitness instruction to improve balance, coordination, and overall body strength. These same skills are necessary for students to participate successfully in their daily activities. A well-balanced routine of cardiovascular exercise, muscle-strengthening exercises, and lower-impact aerobic exercises can help improve physical education and fitness in the classroom.

Overall, studies have shown that physical education programs are effective in promoting positive outcomes in education and physical fitness. A well-rounded physical fitness program can help students learn more about their own bodies, as well as their relationships to the world around them. Some school districts, such as those in the District of Columbia, have even created their own curricula to supplement and complement the Domsport or Pure Fit school programs offered by the American College of Sports Medicine.