Should physical education be mandatory in schools? By Shayna, Michael & Nichele

With schools across the country suffering from budget cuts, and the feeling they need to focus more on curriculum that prepares students for standardized tests, physical education is being taken away from mandatory curriculum.

The American Obesity Association helps us understand Obesity. They explain that Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to identify children that are overweight and obese. (BMI is a calculation of weight in comparison to height). Obese children are now getting diseases like type 2 diabetes and it is proven that overweight kids tend to become over weight adults. This leads to a greater risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

We understand that there are many causes for obesity but with the increased rates the past few decades, it is clear to us that genetics isn’t the only factor planing a role. Too often kids are eating too much and exercising to little.

With that being said, should physical education hold the same amount of importance as English, Math, History or Science? Today, children are spending more time watching television, sitting at a computer and playing video games, than participating in physical activity. Childhood obesity is on the rise and we feel that schools should a lot time for physical education.

Kids who exercise more may score higher in academic classes as well as be more alert and improve their health. Physical education in High Schools tends to be more beneficial, because it can be used as an outlet to purge out extra energy. Also it can be used to show one’s peers what kind of physical capabilities on may have. With all the good that physical education brings, we feel that its wrong for schools to take gym class out of their daily routine.

Here is an article from CNN in which a school district in Texas who took away gym class in 1995. For all the reasons we mentioned above, they are now working to get physical education back in their schools.

Hopefully schools will start realizing that they can play a large role in keeping our children healthy though improving school lunches and requiring physical education for all children. To us, it is equally as important as preparing for standardized testing.

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30 responses to “Should physical education be mandatory in schools? By Shayna, Michael & Nichele

  1. I absolutely feel that physical education should be a mandatory part of the curriculum and that it is just as important as the core subjects, i.e. English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. This is so necessary because child obesity is becoming an epidemic in this nation, we are the most overweight country in the world. The schools must figure out some way to incorporate healthy lifestyles for the children if they are unable to fit physical education in the budget. The schools could possibly hold auctions or maybe ask for donations from the community for money and items to go towards a physical education program. The current generation of children are so expossed to video games, the internet, and on the go meals that prove to be less than healthy. This is largely due to parents that don’t have the time because they both work or it is a one parent home, therefore, there is no time to prepare a healthy meal. All these factors can cause a loss of interest in physical activities that would better them physically and emotionally. We need to urge the government and schools that it is vitally important to expose and incorporate a sense of well being and health if these children want to live a fulfilled life.
    (nicole r. edi677)

  2. I also agree with paradise007 on her viewpoints. I also feel that physical education in our schools should be mandatory. I believe it should be incorporated into the typical day of school for children. Teaching our children at an early age to be active and exercise, to me is just as important as having teachers teach the academic areas of Science, Math, English, Social Studies, etc. I strongly believe that children need to have play whether it is playing on a playground or doing something more strenuous as running laps on a track. While learning academics is extremely important, children also need to move their bodies, release a lot of that bottled up energy and do something that is meaningful to their health and well being. I feel that playing sports encourages a child to develop and increase their self esteem and confidence levels. Children need to exercise as much as possible to avoid being obese as they get older. Hopefully, by schools either continuing to incorporate sports into the day or beginning to do so, will keep our future generation of children more fit and it will help instill a better way of life for many of them.

  3. I feel that we need to put more money into Physical education programs in our schools. America is getting fat. We are taking steps by getting rid of trans fat in our fast food, but we need more. When i was in High school i had gym twice a week. My little brother who is now in high school has it only once a week. Soon it might be elminated all together. Reading that article about the school in Texas who eliminated gym makes me hope that we never elminate gym anywhere again. We need to help our children live healthier lives. This starts by promoting exercise.

  4. I agree that physical education is an important part of any childs education but more can be done besides gym class. Health classes as early as elementary school to teach students the importance of healthy eating would be ideal. We need to teach the youth of this nation that eating your veggies wont kill you no matter how icky they taste. Taking the soda machines and candy out of the schools is another step that schools can take that wont kill their budget. Or they can add water and healthy snacks into the machines.

    But we all know how greasy and fattening school lunches are. When i was in high school the favorite lunch meal was chesse and bacon on a toasted bagel. If that isnt a heart attact waiting to happen i dont know what is. Healthier school lunches along with health and gym classes might just produce a nation of more health consisous citizens.

    – Tracy R. EDI 601

  5. Gym class should be mandatory. I can not believe that schools would take this out of there curriculum. A child needs to exercise and also excess release of energy is also good for some Childs learning skills. I just could not believe when I read that the Texas school did not have gym class for four years it amazed me. Exercise is so important in maintaining a healthy life style. Children need gym especially in today’s technology driven world.

    Gina C.

  6. Gym should be a mandatory part of the curriculum. The obesity rates in children are rising and children are becoming more susceptible to heart-related problems as well as diabetes and other illness that only adults had many years ago. When I went to school gym was a necessary evil. Now it’s being taken away to make room for more instruction on how to pass state tests. Yes, children need to know academic subjects, but they also need to know how to take care of their bodies, which includes exercise.

  7. Putting the whole “obese” issue to the side. Children need an outlet! Taking away gym class, and the arts is a serious issue. I feel that having that 45 min of mindless activities enhances a child’s growth, their minds expand and they free themselves of stress. I’m 29 years old, and I need a gym class or two, to break away from this corporate environment! Its a well deserved release!
    Jackie DaTorre 601

  8. I also agree with Jackie DaTorre. Regardless of America having a weight crisis, I still feel that gym should be mandatory. If I think back to a majority of people I went to school with, gym was where they could have fun in school when there was pressure in EVERY other class. The purpose of schooling is supposed to make students more well-rounded and informed, and while building their intellect is obviously important, there is a point that it is an overload. You need the break in the day that comes with gym/lunch/art/etc. I obviously support gym classes because of the physicality of it (even though I’d argue I didn’t get much exercise in my phys ed classes in high school) but I also feel it’s helpful with mental health too!

  9. Physical education should absolutely be mandatory in all schools and at all grade levels. Introducing kids to sports of all types is beneficial not only to their physical health but their mental health as well. Balance, coordination and of course “de-stressing” are key advantages to these gym programs. Exercise is great for the MIND and the body. I though everyone knew this but some schools need to learn that lesson the hard way.
    Marni 601

  10. Eliminating outlets such as physed in a school curriculum is nothing short of depressing to me. I absolutly believe that we need to keep physical education in schools for many reasons, aside from the detrimental issue of America and obesity. During my last semester of my undergrad I took a course on physical education in elementary school classrooms and learned that “gym” is not at all what it used to be. Entire elaborate curriculums are developed for physed classes including lessons collaborating all of the major subjects taught in the classroom, but incorporating physical activity. The children learn science through lessons on the human body and its cardiovascular system, they also practice creative dramatics and literacy in performing and creating their own songs and dances.
    The possibilities in a physical education classroom are endless and I believe that as long as the right teacher is heading the course, it is an experience that no child could live without.

  11. I agree that Physical Education should be a mandatory part of the curriculum. So many students are over weight at such a young age. They are not being taught that exercise can be fun while helping a person stay healthy at the same time. There is a healthy steps program being implemented right now in many schools across New York. Students are competing to see who can walk or run the most laps around a track. I think this program is amazing. Besides the exercise they are getting in gym class, they are also spending time in school walking. Most of the day students are sitting at a desk. This program will help them move throughout the day. Gym class should not be taken out of schools. In fact something like the healthy steps program should be done throughout the country to get students moving and exercising throughout the day.

  12. Gym Class does not fight obesity. There should also be an educational component that is required for gym class. Just running around for a half hour everyday won’t make a difference unless children know why it is a beneficial part of their life that must continue as they grow into adults.

  13. Excercise is an important role in everyone’s routine, especially in children. This is there time to be free, to run and just be active. I feel gym is mandatory in a childs curriculum, if everyone is so worried about the health factor and the obesity, then why take abway something that can help and contribute. Gym is a way to achieve motivation which every child needs in there program.

  14. I agree with the posts who feel that physical education is important in schools. Not only is the physical aspect of gym class important but it also gives students a chance to socialize. It’s a part of the day where children can move around and not sit at their desk. It gives them a chance to talk to one another, and isn’t that one of the greatest parts of learning? I think physical education should remain in school systems for years and years to come. The benefits go beyond just teaching children to be healthy and to get exercise.

  15. I completely agree that physical education is just as important as any other subjects in schools especially in our society today. Too many students are coming back from school to empty homes where there are no parental guardian, which means unhealthy foods and lack of physical activity. Physical education classes should not take a back seat because of budget cuts, if anything they should focus even more on these classes. They should also get students involved in after school sports and activities so there are less of them going home to sit in front of the television or computer.

  16. I feel that if gym is not mandatory then the students need something to give their mind a reast. Even if its like art or music class they definetly need sometime of their day to just relax and do something fun!

  17. I also agree that gym should be mandatory. It has in place in past curriculum for a reason and there is no need to phase it out anytime soon. Students gain great benefits from having gym (aside from having it as early as 8am or sweating in class). Taking it away will just add more pressure on kids as it will probably be replaced with an additional class where kids will stress out even more. This also contributes to our controversey over too much academics and focus on successful test results. Just keep piling on the stress until kids explode…that’s what we want, right? (sarcasm).

  18. Gym should absolutely be mandatory, especially with the current trend of so many obese children. Schools are taking away gym classes to allow more time to cover all the curriculum needed for standardized tests and these students aren’t learning about the importance of physical fitness. Fitness and exercise is something you need to do your whole life, so how can we not teach kids about it? It’s also important they play team sports to build social skills and they need some time alloted for play and moving around during their day. I would think that with such a huge economic problem of obesity the country would want to educate its youth on staying healthy and fit.

  19. The general concensus on this issue seems to be that physical education should be madatory in sschools! I agree with all the reasons above on curbing obesity and being an outlet for children and adolescents. There are so many positive aspects of physical education that I honestly do not see why anyone would believe it should not be in schools. I understand that in a time of budget cuts people may point to it as one of the classes that is unimportant, but then you are hurting your children. I am a teacher assistant now, and I go to gym with my students to assist, and it is the part of my day I look forward to because the students get to de-stress and have fun. They go from serious students trying to master their subjects to kids again. Phsyical education should remain a part of any schools’ curriculum.

    On the topic of obesity, I think students need more than phys. ed. classes and that nutrition should also start to be looked at in terms of having a place in the education curriculum.

  20. Physical education I feel is most important for young children. The majority of children come home after school and do nothing but sit infront of the television or play video games. By having physical education classes, the children are able to get the exercise needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Also, children need exercise at least once a day to stay motivated and alert.

    Lauren-EDI 601

  21. Physical education is an extremely important part of the students curriculum and I think they should increase the number of times they have it a week. Because many times during class the students don’t become or stay active enough to get their heart rates up and aren’t really exercising. Kids should have phys. ed. at least 3 times a week and the physical education department should designate at least one class a week and make it a workout class, to ensure that the students will get at least 30 min of heart pumping physical activity.

  22. One aspect of physical education I feel is necessary for school is that it is a break from regular lessons. Students get this opportunity to run around and let loose, but more importantly excersize. If society is generating such concern with health and child obesity, how is this helping the cause? If children are introduced to physical activity in a fun enviornment, they will have a positive connecting with being physically active. In high school however, I don’t think it is necessary for all students to participate in physical education. Some students are athletes and partake in after-school sports. They should not be required to take physical education, but a health class should still be a mandatory part of education. All students not involved with spots should still be required to take physical education.

  23. I believe that physical education is an extremely important aspect of our children educational program. School is a place where children can learn and develop their affective, cognitive and psychomotor behavior. It’s all part of our educational development. Children need more play time and socialization to relieve the pressures of the academic classroom. Gym is a great place for this to occur. We can all talk about obesity in our children and physical education is one of the many places to address this issue.

  24. It has to be mandatory, where else can we inspire the next Michael Jordan to pick up a basketball and start shooting hoops? Gym class! Exercising and playing sports are great ways to fight the silent killer of obesity and keeping students healthy. Getting our students active outside the classroom is critical to a positive mental, physical, and, social lifestyle.

  25. joshuasimonbixby

    We can not cut out gym! all this talk about stardardized testing is making schools take away gym class for “brain gym”. We cant let this happen. studies have shown that it is exercise and activity that makes a childs brain work better. I couldnt imagine sitting in a class all day with out activity. Not only does it help children learn but it gets them outside and running around. If they are sittin gin a classroom all day and playing xbox when they get home the nation is going to only get fatter and young students grades are going to suffer.

  26. Physical Education is part of the knowledge needed to lead a health life today. The exercise provides an output for excess energy, training for athletes and provides a general knowledge for a health exercise routine. The removal of physical education to allocate more time to math and reading will result reader that can add but can’t get up to go to work because they are over weight. It would be a long-term mistake to eliminate these classes sociologically and physiologically for society.

  27. I see that Physical education is important for children especially in our society. But I am going to be honest-I HATED gym!!!!!! I was never really athletic & I hate to excercise. I think my worst grades in school were in gym because I never participated. You work up a sweat then have to go the rest of the day smelling like phys ed. If gym was cancelled in my school when I was there I would have been sooooo happy!!!! But in the end, gym is very important and so is excercise-so it should remain in the school programs.
    Michaela Petit EDI677

  28. not only is physical education needed to control the overwhelmingly large rate of obesity, children need it to let out agression and tension as well. Being in school all day learning countless topics is a long, tedious and stressful day for students. Physical education is a healthy way for children to let out some of the stress. If they dont have an outlet to unleash some tension, how are we to expect succesful learning from them?

  29. Physical Education should absolutely be mandatory in ALL public schools. Even with funding being cut, I don’t believe our children can afford to have phys ed cut. Especially in this day in age with computers and video games taking over, obesity is rising to new highs. We need to teach our children to get off their butts and move around. We need to practice what we preach. We can ban cupcakes from school but still cut phys ed? I have a huge problem with that.
    (677, 601)

  30. Physical Education should be mandatory in all public schools. Students needs to exercise thier minds as well as thier bodies. With today’s obesity rates on the rise and students spending more time in front of the TV and computer monitors, it is imperative that they see the connection between educating their minds and maintaining a healthy body.It also is an opportunity to give thier minds a rest and just have time to have some fun.

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