Schools are struggling with the issue of whether physical education classes (“PE”) are a necessity or is an extra-curricular activity. However, PE is and must be an absolute necessity. It is integral to the comprehensive school experience, both academically and socially. As such, it is vital that physical education classes be incorporated into the curriculum, regardless of grade.
High school students are underperforming so far in the recommended daily exercise category. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that teenagers receive at least sixty minutes of exercise per day. Yet, only 18% of high school students are satisfying that recommendation. Nonetheless, because of budget cuts, schools are phasing out physical education classes. This is aggravating the issue.
Obesity is a very real epidemic affecting a lot of children within the United States. Children are also spending more time watching television or using the computer. Afternoons and weekends are increasingly spent indoors, rather than outside. It is necessary that PE classes fill the void created by the increased dependency on technology. Alternatively, it may be argued that students may either dislike PE or may refuse to participate. Yet, students similarly may dislike or refuse to participate in science or social studies, but the academic courses are not subjected to budget cuts to the extent as PE. It is an asinine proposition to remove a fundamental course because few may disfavor it.
While the competitiveness and varying levels of athleticism may cause students to steer away from PE, the value of PE is not rooted in the competition, but it is a marriage of the physical fitness and the team-building social skills. Both leadership and learning to work in a team environment are the basis of a PE course.
Physical education classes assist in the development of skills needed both in- and out-of-school. For example, both fine and gross motor skills, as well as hand-eye...