Why Physical Education in Schools
Research strongly indicates that regular physical education, included in children's school curricula, produces physical, psychological, social, emotional, and intellectual benefits. Physical education may help prevent disease, improve overall health and wellness, maintain social and emotional balance through building relationships, enhances a students' academic learning and performance, and fosters positive life-long habits that lead to a happier life.
1. People who are usually inactive can improve their health and well-being by becoming even moderately active on a regular basis.
2. Physical activity need not be strenuous to achieve health benefits.
3. Greater health benefits can be achieved by increasing the amount (duration, frequency, or intensity) of physical activity.
4. Reduces the risk of dying prematurely.
5. Reduces the risk of dying from heart disease.
6. Reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
7. Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure.
8. Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure.
9. Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.
10. Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.
11. Helps control weight.
12. Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
13. Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling.
14. Promotes psychological well-being.
15. Physical activity may modify anxiety and depression.
16.It is an avenue for expression of anger, aggression and happiness . . a means for discovery of self as well as a social facilitator.
17. Research shows a positive relationship between physical activity and academic achievement.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
What Research has to say...
Research suggests that regular physical activity, begun in childhood, may help prevent degenerative diseases. According to Hanson (1974), "The necessity of physical activity for a growing child is well-documented in terms of growth and fitness needs. Physical activity increases muscle tone, improves respiration and circulation, benefits digestion, aids in controlling obesity, promotes rehabilitation after illness and surgery, and stimulates proper growth and development. Physical benefits alone could be sufficient reason for supporting physical education programs...
In addition, Fentem and Bassey (1982) pointed out that "Exercise is a valuable adjunct to dietary control in prevention and treatment of obesity because it increases energy expenditure and improves energy balance" (p. 2).
Studies indicate that children in free play settings will not engage in physical activity vigorous enough to produce physical benefits or enhance health, thus supporting the need for physical education (Reiff 1977, p. 26).
Priest, Laurie The Case for Physical Education. ERIC Fact Sheet.