Physical Education Facts and Statistics
WHY CHILDREN NEED PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Children need to be active every day. A quality physical education program is important to give them the experience and the skills that motivate them to develop habits to be physically active throughout life. The benefits of daily participation in physical education include:
- Improved strength and endurance
- Ability to maintain healthy body composition
- Ability to build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints
- Reduced stress, anxiety and depression
- Increased self esteem and psychological wellbeing
- Reduced risk of developing life threatening diseases
- Improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Reinforced knowledge learned across the curriculum
- Strengthened peer relationships through cooperation and team work
- Improved cognitive performance through aerobic exercise and learning readiness
WHAT IS A PHYSICALLY EDUCATED PERSON?
According to the National Association of Sport and Physical Education a physically educated person:
- has learned the skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities; knows the implications of and the benefits from involvement in physical activities;
- does participate regularly in physical activity;
- is physically fit;
- values physical activity and its contribution to a healthful lifestyle.
CONNECTIONS BETWEEN PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND ACADEMICS
- Movement facilitates cognition. The only reason we have a brain is because we move.(Robert Sylwester, 1995)
- 85% of school-age children are natural Kinesthetic Learners. (Carla Hannaford, 1995)
- Children who engage in daily physical education show superior motor fitness, academic performance, and attitude towards school as compared to the counterparts who do not participate in physical education. (James Pollatschek and Frank Hagen, 1996)
- Exercise may boost brain function, improve mood, and increase learning. (Dr. John Ratey, 1999)
- Memory is retrieved better when learned through movement. (Eric Jensen, 2000)
- We now have the proof we have been looking for: students achieve best when they are physically fit. (Delaine Eastin, California state superintendent of Public Instruction, 2002)
- Children who are physically active and fit tend to perform better in the classroom. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2007)
- Exercise is Miracle Grow for the brain. (Dr. John Ratey, 2008)
The need for physical education to support the development of the whole child is becoming obvious. The mind and body reside together and neither can be fully developed without the other. Lack of physical activity may in fact suppress the child’s ability to learn. Participation in physical activity helps optimize a child’s learning potential.