Why Physical Education is essential in schools


Photo by Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Two boys playing an intense round of basketball during PE.

Angie Cotton, Managing Editor of Production

    Remember back in elementary when you’d come back to the classroom drenched in sweat from running around and playing different sports in Physical Education? You either hated the feeling of being musty for the rest of the day or loved how energized you felt afterward. Regardless of how you might’ve felt about PE back then, you should recognize now that it was an essential part of a well-planned curriculum that should be required at any school.

    First, it carries several benefits, of which the biggest may be physical and mental fitness. There’s not much explaining to give for physical health as the benefits are clear: more strength, better cardio; simply put, better health. When it comes to mental fitness, some dodgeball or kickball is guaranteed to train your brain to stay on alert and act quick, keeping your head active and preparing it for situations outside of the court.

    In addition to that, it has been proven that a daily dose of exercise helps younger kids improve their focus in the classroom, according to a PennState Extension article. This also helps older students who struggle with concentrating on tedious sit-down tasks. Hence, students perform better in school when stimulated by exercise.

    For instance, every time I’ve had some sort of exercise before school starts, I’ve been more awake and attentive during class. Even if you’re not a morning person, this works for later hours too. Counterintuitively, after an evening practice, I get a lot more homework done compared to when I don’t have practice. 

    This, of course, might range from person to person. Maybe kickball isn’t everyone’s slice of cake–this is the part where PE should represent a wide array of activities, similar to any other subject. You don’t spend all school year learning what 2+2 is (at least, I hope not). PE should give kids the opportunity to try out different physical activities and find something that they love and can pursue later in life.

    These are just some of many reasons why PE should be an essential part of any school curriculum–it helps in improving physical and mental health and concentration levels, along with helping kids find a hobby that they will enjoy for the rest of their lives.