Feature Article - June 2008
Find a printable version here


School Days

Why P.E.?

An article in the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance's (AAHPERD) Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance cited the following 10 reasons for offering a top-quality physical education program:

  1. Regular activity can help prevent disease, including major chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes and some forms of cancer.
  2. Regular activity can help kids develop a lifetime of wellness.
  3. Quality physical education can help schools fight obesity.
  4. Quality physical education can help lead kids to a lifetime of physical fitness.
  5. Quality physical education gives kids unique opportunities for activity (which many kids will fail to get outside the school day).
  6. Quality physical education teaches self-management and motor skills.
  7. Physical activity and physical education promote learning.
  8. The evidence shows that cutting PE to save money will actually cost more in the long term.
  9. Physical education is widely endorsed, by the American Academy of Pediatrics, by the American Heart Association, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, by the Centers for Disease Control, by the U.S. Department of Education, by the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness and more.
  10. Quality physical education helps educate the total child.

According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), the characteristics of quality physical education include: an opportunity to learn, with 150 minutes per week for elementary students and 225 minutes per week for middle and high school students; meaningful content that not only gives kids the how, but also the why; and appropriate instruction that is inclusive, well-designed and includes regular assessments.

To learn a lot more about the value of physical education or to find the full text of the article cited here, visit www.aahperd.org.