The importance of physical education

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Cameron Valaitis, Student Writer

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The importance of physical education is a very controversial topic in today’s society. Some may agree with its importance, while others may not see the key benefits of it. Greater Nanticoke Area’s high school gym and health teacher, Ms. Sowa, agreed with the importance of physical education in today’s schools. Ms. Sowa stated P.E. is so beneficial in order for an individual to stay healthy and fit, and that it also aids in disease prevention for that individual.

Physical education does play a tremendous role in the development of children and teens today. It can benefit a child who is currently learning in school and can also have some lifelong benefits to that same child as well. So, if physical education is so vital in a child’s development, why is it so commonly over looked by public and private schools today?

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Physical education can lead to many great benefits to a child currently enrolled in school or in their future life. Some of these positive effects include: stress reduction, improved self confidence and self esteem, stronger minds and bodies, increased school attendance, strengthened peer relations, skill and motor skills development, experience in setting goals, better behavior, influences of moral development, and leadership opportunities to help the student to better cooperate with others.

Not requiring P.E. can even have some negative bodily effects ranging anywhere from obesity (recently raising) to  disease. Students may feel more tired when learning, not grow and develop in the correct way, or may be consumed with uncontrollable stress that may impact the child’s future.

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Statistics show only 3.7% of states require P.E. from grades K-12, while other states limit physical education funding or offer substitutions from taking P.E. Many schools do not offer P.E. due to a limited budget and short school day, while other schools do not require mandatory P.E. in order for students to have more time preparing for standardized tests.

After look into the benefits of physical education, one may see the long and short term effects P.E. can have on an individuals life. Through enabling individuals to stay healthy, fit, and disease free (as stated by Ms. Sowa) physical education’s key benefits in the end allow people to live longer, healthier, fulfilled lives.