Research Supports the Need for Physical Education
Physical education is an essential part of healthy living for people of all age groups, especially those going to school. This is because school life is full of stress and anxiety at every stage.
Researchers have demonstrated the importance of physical activities for students in a school environment. Scientifically these activities have been proven to be as important as doing school work.
Many schools are now encouraging students to take part in physical education.
Focusing only on schoolwork can make a student’s life feel boring and stagnant, which in turn can cause depression and failure. Physical education teaches students to improve the quality of their life.
This is why more schools are encouraging students to maintain a balance between their school work and physical education.
Physical activities and exercises boost stamina, which can increase confidence, motivation, academic achievement, and self-esteem.
Top 5 Reasons Why Physical Education is as Important as School Work:
1. Physical activity enhances an individual’s ability to think, concentrate, & focus.
Several research studies show that performing physical activities helps in enlarging the basal ganglia of the brain. The Basal Ganglia is a part of the brain which is responsible to maintain an individual’s capability to focus.
In this current era, students have several diversions in the form of technology (television, tablets, PCs, mobile phones), therefore, it is difficult for them to maintain focus. By promoting physical education, school teachers can help them improve their concentration.
Scientific research also reveals that physical education in school helps improve the connections between neurons in the brain. Healthy and well-connected neurons help improve the over-all thinking ability of students, thus, making them more efficient in the classroom.
Related Article: Exercise Ideas to Support Children with Autism and ADHD
2. Physical activity is important for healthy growth & development.
In today’s world, many school children eat unhealthy foods. These may include fries, soft drinks, pizzas, and burgers. Consuming these on a regular basis can lead to childhood obesity.
Physical education at school helps in preventing obesity and high blood pressure. Physical exercise and activities will help them burn off their extra calories. If these calories are not burned off they will be stored as fat. By doing physical exercises individuals use their extra calories to gain energy.
Plus, such activities play an important role in the healthy growth and development of bones and cartilages. Bone strengthening exercises such as jumping are particularly important for school children as such activities produce a force onto the bone that helps enhance its strength and growth.
While muscle strengthening exercises make muscles larger and stronger, they also help children carry more weight and aid in protecting joints against injuries.
Being physically active makes the students energetic and strong, which can help motivate them to take interest in classroom activities.
Exercises that help strengthen muscles include:
- climbing trees
- using monkey bars
- bike riding
- doing push-ups
- hula hooping
A physically active student will also have a healthy heart. Any exercise which provides oxygen to the muscles is called an aerobic exercise. Such exercises are essential for a healthy heart.
Research shows that children who perform aerobic exercises, two to three times a week for at least twenty minutes, have a healthier heart as compared to those who don’t take part in physical education. Some of the healthy aerobic exercises are:
- playing basketball
- playing soccer
- jumping rope
3. Physical activity prevents sleep deprivation.
A complete night’s sleep is an essential component of a happy and healthy life. Those students who take part in physical activities and exercise regularly have a tired and exhausted body that craves a good night’s sleep.
Complete sleep makes kids more upright and attentive during lectures in the classroom. Being attentive will help prevent them from performing careless mistakes and will provide them the energy to be helpful towards teachers and fellow students.
4. Physical activity helps relieve stress and anxiety.
Stress might be due to a fight with a friend or a low grade despite hard work. Stressed students are not able to concentrate and focus on their academic performance if they are not allowed time to de-stress.
Physical activities give students an environment to breathe out their stress. By exercising and breathing deeply, we provide extra air to our lungs which in turn provides more oxygen to the brain, this makes the brain feel relaxed and stress-free.
A physically active individual is more likely to be happy and healthy, which makes them a better student in the classroom. They often feel proud and happy about themselves and are good towards their fellow students.
5. Physical activity makes an individual flexible and happy.
This is due to the fact that those students who take part in physical activities have proved to be happier and healthier than those students who spend all their time doing school work.
Such activities help develop blood circulation in an individual’s body. This helps in providing more oxygen to the heart and brain and allows the body to maintain a balance between physical and mental health.
Balancing exercise and stretching also help improve flexibility and physical balance which decreases the chances of injuries. Frequent exercise also makes it less stressful to handle mental tasks.
Education and Behavior – Keeping Us on the Same Page for ChildrenGreat Tools for Physical Activity
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- The Benefits of Including a Self Defense Program in Middle School Physical Education
- American Academy of Pediatrics Explains Why Recess is Crucial for Children and Shouldn’t be Withheld
- Does Research Show That Exercise Helps Kids with Autism & ADHD?
- 4 Great Benefits of Exercise for Children
Rachel Wise is a certified school psychologist and licensed behavior specialist with a Master’s Degree in Education. She is also the head author and CEO at educationandbehavior.com, a site for parents, caregivers, educators, counselors, and therapists to find effective, research-based strategies that work for children. Rachel has been working with individuals with academic and behavioral needs for over 20 years and has a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of children and the adults who support them. For Rachel’s top behavioral strategies all in one place, check out her book, Building Confidence and Improving Behavior in Children, a Guide for Parents and Teachers. If you want Rachel to write for your business, offer behavioral or academic consultation, or speak at your facility about research-based strategies that support children, email her at email@example.com.