Breaking News
  • February 21Happy Scholastic Journalism Week!
The Student News Site of Briar Woods High School

Falcon Flyer

The Student News Site of Briar Woods High School

Falcon Flyer

The Student News Site of Briar Woods High School

Falcon Flyer

P.E Needs To Change

P.E+Needs+To+Change

Most people in America have negative feelings towards physical education class or P.E. From uncomfortable locker room moments to endless laps around the track, many students do not find it to be a pleasant experience.  

P.E should be a fun educational way for students to get the recommended amount of exercise and learn how to get and sustain a healthy body, as well as a way to establish lifelong healthy habits.

Despite the perception some have about P.E., like many classes it is an essential part of the curriculum.  Yet, when school budgets hit a crisis classes like P.E., art, music, and foreign language are often the first to be put onto the financial chopping block.

The cause of this leads back to President Bush’s No Child Behind Act in 2001. The act was to prioritize tax dollars to core academic subjects to raise the national average test scores. As a result, classes such as art, music, and physical education were cut short for the core classes. While there has been some improvement to P.E’s national funding since Barack Obama was president, P.E is still not a priority for schools.

“While there are many ways to exercise, schools are the ideal place to implement physical education programs,”explains Dr. Hannah Thompson, a community health research scientist at UC Berkeley, “because we have the greatest ability to reach the most children.” 

A way that seems best for kids and teens to get physical activity is through school since everyone would have to participate. Physical activity is an important part of a kid’s life, from kindergarten to their senior year. Staying physically active is not only helpful for the body but also for the mind. 

P.E through public school can lessen health disparities. Children in wealthier neighborhoods have the benefit of being able to play many different sports and activities yet lower income children do not have this luxury. A P.E class that is done right can help these students get the physical activity that they need.  

The budget cuts on P.E classes have affected these lower class schools the most, in these areas  students have been shown to have lower fitness levels than what is healthy for their age group, which is correlated with poor academic performance, among other adverse outcomes.

 “Traditionally, in PE, there has been a focus on developing students into athletes,” explains Thompson, “but it would really be valuable to view PE as a public health tool to educate students and empower kids so they’re able to participate in any activity they enjoy.” 

Too many students dread going to their P.E class and too little of them are actually getting the right exercise. P.E would benefit by moving to a more recessed type of setting. Research suggests that taking a break from academic instruction can help attention span and learning, this is where P.E can take an advantage by having students go outside and do a physical activity of their choice. Students are more willing to benefit and want to do exercise if they enjoy it.

The effect that P.E has on students largely depends on the atmosphere of the class created by the teachers and other students. P.E class won’t improve the students health if the class itself is a problem for the student.

The benefit that P.E programs have on students has been researched by physical education professors and the results come to show that P.E for a significant number of students in America has neither improved BMI levels or obesity nor has it improved academic levels or knowledge of health.

Too many students dread going to their P.E class and too little of them are actually getting the right exercise. There are a number of reasons why P.E is failing; P.E is focused on athletics rather than physical wellness and active lifestyle; schools and grades focusing on students metrics like BMI and how long students can run on the track; and an environment surrounded by bullying and shaming. 

P.E stands for Physical Education and it seems that schools have forgotten that. P.E has been a class that does not target teaching the students about why they should exercise, how to exercise, how to have a healthy body and mind, and most importantly make the class enjoyable. Students will dread vigorous activity for an hour and 30 minutes if they are just exercising with no real reason behind it and no improvement to their health.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Falcon Flyer
$185
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Falcon Flyer
$185
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Falcon Flyer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *