Why is Physical Education Needed in Schools?
1. In general, children who regularly engage in physical activity show stronger academic performance than peers who are more inactive, still, etc.
The strongest relationships have been found between aerobic activities and student performance in reading, English, and math.
2. Spending time on physical activities leads to health benefits for the body and brain, as well as enriched brain development.
The findings across several research studies indicate that increases in aerobic activity are related to improvements in brain structure and brain functions that underlie academic performance.
Regular participation in physical activity also leads to improvements in:
- working memory (e.g., when you use your working memory you recall and utilize information at the same time. For instance, your child is using their working memory as they remember the steps of a recipe while cooking a favorite meal.)
- problem-solving (analyzing the nature of a problem an figuring out how to solve it)
3. Children who participate in regular aerobic exercise are shown to take on tasks more independently and rely less on environmental cues and teacher prompting than less active peers.
4. Physical Activity Improves Mood & Self-Esteem
Research shows that staying active leads to a reduction in stress and anxiety, and improves self-esteem which leads to increases in focus, positive behaviors and choices.
Exercise/Movement can be accomplished in a variety of ways before, during, and after school.
Give them a few minutes to just sit and recoup as well, with a healthy snack and some water 🙂
Conclusions About The Benefits of Physical Education in Schools
Physical activity leads to an improvement in quality of life, which allows us to execute our skills more efficiently in the areas of academics, problem-solving, and working memory. Unfortunately, some students don’t have an outlet for physical activity outside of school. Taking these findings into consideration, the benefits of incorporating physical activity/education into the school day, outweigh the benefits of using school hours predominantly for academic instruction.
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Education and Behavior – A Free Research-Based Library to Support Children’s Academic, Behavioral, and Social-Emotional Development.
Rachel Wise is the author and founder of Education and Behavior. Rachel created Education and Behavior in 2014 for adults to have an easy way to access research-based information to support children in the areas of learning, behavior, and social-emotional development. As a survivor of abuse, neglect, and bullying, Rachel slipped through the cracks of her school and community. Education and Behavior hopes to play a role in preventing that from happening to other children. Rachel is also the author of Building Confidence and Improving Behavior in Children: A Guide for Parents and Teachers.
“Children do best when there is consistency within and across settings (i.e., home, school, community). Education and Behavior allows us to maintain that consistency.”