Should Physical Education Be Compulsory Everyday Essay

Importance of Physical Education in Schools
SPO3001 Learn to Swim

Table of Contents
Definition of Physical Education3
What is taught in Physical Education?4
Importance of Physical Education5
The Importance of Physical Education as it relates to Swimming7 Disadvantages of lack of Physical Education 9
Physical education plays a vital role in students’ development and growth. According to recent medical studies, physical well being of a student is directly related to his or her performance whether in class or in the office. The optimal physical education program will foster a lifetime commitment to physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. Ultimately, improved coordinated school health programs, of which physical education is a central component, will augment other prevention efforts and help to reverse the growing epidemic of childhood obesity which threatens to undo decades of progress in the fight against cardiovascular and other diseases. Effective efforts made now will help children avoid a lifetime of chronic disease and disability. Before further discussion of the importance of physical education, there first needs to a formal definition of what physical education is and what type of teachings occur in such a class. Definition of Physical Education

People are often mistaken in defining physical education as they often assume that physical education is sport education. Simply put, physical education is defined as a process of education through physical activity. The goal is the development of individuals acquired through experience of motion. In a broader context, physical education is defined as a process of learning through physical activities designed to improve physical fitness, develop motor skills, knowledge and behavior of healthy and active living, sportsmanship, and emotional intelligence.

Thus, Physical Education is not only aimed at physical development but also includes the development of the individual as a whole. With Physical Education students will acquire a variety of expressions which are closely related with the personal impressions of fun as well as various expressions of a creative, innovative, and skilled, have the physical fitness, healthy habits and have the knowledge and understanding of human motion. What is taught in Physical Education?

The health and physical education programs should be designed to teach students the skills, knowledge and attitudes essential to live a healthy lifestyle and select healthy and safe behaviors. Physical education is unique as it provides students with opportunities to learn motor skills, develop fitness, and gain understanding about the importance of physical activity. Students should be provided an individualized, developmentally appropriate, and personally challenging instructional program that will advance the knowledge, confidence, skills, and motivation needed to engage in a lifelong, healthy, active lifestyle. There are many branches to physical education and it does not just deal with the teaching of a sport of any kind whether basketball or track, etc. Some major topics include nutrition and health, which entails the teaching of proper eating habits.

Sport science, which is the teachings of the rules and play of a specific sport and the necessary equipment that sport requires. Anatomy and physiology, which looks into the human body for e.g. skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, and respiratory systems. Exercise physiology e.g. components of health related fitness; fitness guideline such as frequency, intensity, time/duration and type/mode; principles of exercise such as specificity, overload, and progression; roles of the body systems in exercise; short and long-term effects of physical training, nutrition as related to effects of physical training and nutrition as related to exercise, fitness, and metabolic response to exercise. Other topics include movement concepts such as body awareness and effects of substance abuse on body performance, health and behavior. Importance of Physical Education

Obesity is a very common problem faced, which if not taken care of in time, can lead to many lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Engaging in physical activities help to burn calories and lose fat. Regular exercising builds muscles, makes the immune system strong and improves upon stamina. This increases the fitness levels and keeps various diseases and health conditions in check. It Builds Self Esteem

Students who are active in physical activities like basketball, volleyball, martial arts and running just to name a few are more confident with themselves according to most social school studies. It’s probably because of the self discipline and dedication to excel in a sport that brings out the best in students. In school, the physical education program introduces these sport activities to students allowing them to make choices to which sport areas they want to get involved in. Life Lessons

By participating in various sports, a student gets to learn so many things about life. A student wins some games and loses some; this makes him understand that winning and losing are a part of life and should be accepted with grace. When a student participates in team games, he learns that co-operating with others is very important if goals are to be achieved. Likewise, sports can teach so many life lessons to students and thus, help them evolve mentally. Hygiene

Physical education classes lay great emphasis on maintaining hygiene. They teach students how to remain clean and germ-free at all times. Sex education is sometimes part of this curriculum too. The safe practices taught in these classes, and if the lessons are followed throughout a persons’ life, will save them from many diseases. Stress Management

Often times, students, particularly in their adolescent years, face various kinds of pressure and experience stress and anxiety. Participation in physical activities can act as a stress buster for them. Research has shown that when a person exercises, the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone which increases blood sugar, get reduced. Moreover, a person who exercises every day is able to sleep better, thus giving enough time to his body to repair and restore. This proves that by making an exercise routine, a student can remain stress-free, relaxed and concentrate more on his studies and other important things. Productivity

Researches show that students who participate in physical activities have high energy levels and are more alert than those who led sedentary lifestyles. Due to these very reasons, the productivity of such students in various spheres of life, including their studies, improves considerably.

As can be seen, physical education contributes so much towards making a child grow into a healthy, intelligent, confident and level-headed adult. It can be rightly said that it’s not just for individual growth, but for the improvement of the whole society, physical education should be made an important part of the school curriculum. Academic Performance

Though a lack of attention on PE is often justified as an opportunity to spend more time in the classroom, studies show that physical activity contributes to improved academic performance. Regular activity during the school day is strongly associated with higher concentration levels as well as more directed, composed behavior. A statewide policy in North Carolina required that children from kindergarten to eighth grade participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. A survey of school representatives from 106 of the state’s school districts reported that the most recognizable benefit of the mandate was “improved academic focus.” Importance of Physical Education as it relates to Swimming

In an article about “How to Learn” by Swim Smooth written in 2009, it speaks about the brain in two parts, our conscious and our subconscious. When we perform a familiar movement pattern such as walking or riding a bike we perform the movements on auto-pilot. The same goes for swimming stroke. Freestyle is such a complex set of movements that nearly every action is controlled by our subconscious. It may be thought that you are concentrating
very hard on your stroke but in reality you can only make small changes through pure ‘conscious thought power’ or concentration. The subconscious mind is very fast, can do complicated things in a fraction of a second, and can react before you have time to think. The conscious mind on the other hand is very much slower and could never react or co-ordinate things this quickly. It can only co-ordinate one thing at a time and often very clumsily.

With proper physical education, a swim coach can teach about the muscle groups used in each different form of swim stroke, the proper nutrition required in order to keep the body fit for doing swimming on a regular basis and give proper instruction on swimming techniques so that as the individual practices and it starts to move from conscious thought to subconscious forms of movement, the actions being carried out are correct and precise. It can also be of benefit where the physical education is concerned because with technique again, focus will be made on single aspects of a stroke and gradually everything at once in order to give the body a full feel and more susceptible to get it done correctly than a person teaching themselves and trying to do everything at once.

Since the conscious mind can only do one thing at a time, focus should only be on one part of the swimming technique at a time and the subconscious gets a feel for things most quickly by doing the action. Many swimmers believe they have to concentrate very hard when they swim or their stroke technique will ‘fall apart’. They’re vastly over-estimating the influence of their conscious mind as they’re swimming! If they mentally switched off they would swim almost identically – sometimes better because they’d be more relaxed.

Disadvantages of a lack of Physical Education
Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. Physical inactivity (lack of physical activity) has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality (6% of deaths globally). Moreover, physical inactivity is estimated to be the main cause for approximately 21–25% of breast and colon cancers, 27% of diabetes and approximately 30% of ischemic heart disease burden. Being inactive increases the risk of developing depression or dementia, according to studies presented at a conference of the British
Nutrition Foundation. According to Nannette Mutrie of the University of Strathclyde, researchers are coming to understand how important physical activity is for psychological health. She said that recent research suggests that exercise can be successfully used to treat depression.

Conversely, people who do live inactive lifestyles are twice as likely to become depressed. “It’s only recently that people have begun to see the link between physical activity and mental health,” Mutrie said. “It’s important for increasing people’s self esteem, general mood, coping with stress and even sleeping better. And we now have very strong evidence that physical activity can prevent depression.” As it relates to the theory aspect of physical education, a person wanting to be in better shape would not know the proper steps to take in order to make it happen. They would be ignorant about how the body works and how to eat healthy and so thought exercise is carried out often, may not see the results for all the work put in. Technique and precision is necessary for anyone to become good at whatever sport or activity they take part in and this can be more easily achieved if guidance through physical education is given. Conclusion

In conclusion, physical education is very important as it helps with teaching of a healthy lifestyle, keeps the body active and promotes long life. Lack of physical education too has its disadvantages as it can promote various diseases, lead to obesity and more susceptible to mental issues such as depression or dementia. When relating to swimming specifically, physical education can help better with technique and necessary stretches and eating habits required to more develop on that skill.

Internet Sources
American Diabetes Association (2008). Physical Education in Schools – Both Quality and Quantity are Important. Retrieved from

Greenlaw, E. (2012). What Do You Know About PE for Kids? Retrieved from

Datka, A. (2011). What Are the Benefits of Physical Education in School? Retrieved from Dogra, A. (2011). Importance of Physical Education in Schools. Retrieved from

Newspaper Articles
Blair, L. (2003, May 11). Could PE fight the fat attack? Jamaica Gleaner Burke, D. (2012, September 3). The importance of play. Jamaica Observer Book Source
Ayers, S. & Sariscsany, M. (2011). The Physical Best Teachers Guide: Physical Education For Lifelong Fitness, Third Edition. United States

  • It has no application in real life. P.E. also wastes precious time.

    Honestly, its ridiculous to to say P.E. Accomplishes anything. I mean seriously school is a beautiful thing and we have the opportunity to learn about so many amazing things like apartheid, police brutality, survival skills, instead we have a class on gym, learning how to hit different sized balls with assorted sticks. As far as obesity, kids that go into gym overweight don't leave any different, the only way to lose weight is to commit yourself not be forced into a class where you do nothing because you don't want too.

  • P.E is good

    Physical education is good for a students physically, mentally and socially. It prevents laziness in class because the brain works better.

    It reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and many other diseases. It also promotes bone and muscle growth.

    It promotes healthy social interactions as children learn to cooperate through group activities.

  • Students should absolutely be required to take P.E.

    Students should understand that not taking proper care of their body can and will result in an unhealthy life and life style that could follow them for the rest of their lives. Schools all across the nation are full of obese children. The parents should be informed on their children's physical health just as well as their academic stance.

  • I think children who are obese should have to take 2 classes

    I think children who are clinically overweight should have to take 2 classes and children at a healthy weight should just take one PE class and get an extra recess as a reward for making smart choices. This gives an incentive for positive choices outside of a school setting. Ie less video games more playing outside at home

  • What is really important?

    Physical education should be mandatory throughout high school including grade 11 and 12. We define Physical education as an educational course taken during primary and secondary education that encourages psychomotor learning in a play or movement exploration setting to promote health and compulsory defined is required by rules or law. Extensive research has shown over and over again that physical activity is beneficial not only for physical health, but also mental health such as social anxiety, and stress relief. We are having an epidemic in Canada, according to stats Canada health concerns are on the rise, most notable obesity. Physical education is the place where everyone gets an opportunity to be active! Some could argue that even students who chose not to take grade 11/12 physical education get the activity otherwise. That we should keep it optional to allow students to take other classes and learn a sense of responsibility. This could not be the case, what about the student who takes care of their brothers or sisters after school, or the ones who have jobs. Research shows that bone growth requires physical activity... For most grade 11 and 12 students bones are still growing. We talk about giving students responsibility. We do not teach them these negative affects to not taking physical education classes until post secondary. We are the ones who need to take responsibility for our children’s health and make physical education a compulsory class throughout high school. The goal of physical education is life-long learning in physical activity; by making physical education an option in high school we make it an option in real life. I will leave you with this point... No math, science, or core curriculum subjects will save you when you’re on your death bed.

  • They really should

    Yes, they should.

    Because America is the fattest country and people wonder why. It's because kids don't get enough of a work out at home and they don't do anything besides eat chips and sit there so they should have to do something at school! It should be a mandatory class for kids! That is my opinion.

  • Some parents do not teach their children health and fitness routines

    Not every student comes from a home that follows health and fitness routines. If schools did not require mandatory physical education classes at school, those students who are not taught about these things would be more likely to get obese and unhealthy. Schools help teach these students how to take care of themselves now and in the long run.

  • Of course they should

    PE is not only about playing sport but develops many other factors that most do not think of. For instance how many other subjects are there that encourage teamwork, developing social skills, encouraging people to work with people outside of their peer groups. One could say simulating that of the working world. It maintains motor development, promoting health a fitness for a long life health and & lifestyle choice. I could right a 5000 word essay of why PE should be in the curriculum but for the sake of time I will leave it at these few points

  • What is MORE important than your overall health?

    Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally leads to overall wellness. Suggesting that you can opt out of PE if you play a sport makes physical education a "punishment" if you don't make the team. It is your choice to play sports, but that doesn't excuse you from a state requirement. If so, why not allow Mathletes to opt out of math class or kids who travel to a foreign country to opt out of taking a foreign language? Kids should be commended on their dedication to play a sport, but exposure to various team, lifetime, fitness, and individual activities may spark an interest that may keep them active in the future. While there may be some PE programs that just "roll out the ball" there are MANY more programs that offer fantastic options both competitive and non-competitive including dance, weight training, exercise physiology, team games, adventure activities, tennis, golf, yoga, pilates, and rock climbing. In addition, saying that "only overweight kids should have to take PE" is ridiculous. Would we set up a screening committee to determine who is overweight enough to be forced into a PE class? Lawsuit anyone?

  • Kids should have p.e. every day.

    Kids should have p.e. every day for at least 1 hour. Kids don't get enough daily exercise. I usually find kinds on a TV screen or stuck inside doing homework. Homework is good for children and to the mind of them, but they need to be outside a good time of the day. Kids will suffer before adults because they don't have healthy bodies. Please help your child today or any day and take my advice.


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