The Importance of Physical Education in Schools

Physical education has always been seen as a pillar of education in schools, colleges, and universities. Physical education or PE is included in almost all school curricula over the world. PE programs and education are needed to increase fitness, health, and motor development of all children. Students who are physically fit from early childhood are seen to grow up to be fit and healthy adults that enjoy health-related fitness activities and responsibility.

Physical education is not only limited to physical fitness but also extends to honing concentration, focus, awareness, and confidence. Well planned and executed physical education dramatically benefits children and adults of all ages to lead healthier and longer lives. A singular focus on academics may lead to high rates of depression, anxiety, and stress among young children. Physical education helps children with an outlet to control the pressure and emotions by improving their health and quality of life.

With the increase in inactivity and obesity among young children, it is essential to realise and address the growing unhealthy and sedentary lifestyles that are a result of laid-back life choices, technology (mobile phones, handheld devices, tablets, laptops), and shift change towards theoretical knowledge. Meaningful and high-quality physical education is required at the grass root level to reverse this damage so that future generations lead healthy lives.

Let us look at some of the benefits of physical education in sports.

Fitness habits

Being fit requires a commitment to sports, coordination and working in teams, concentration, and development of bodily health. Fitness in children from an early age promotes the growth of healthy bones and muscles. These kids have highly developed motor skills and reflexes and excellent hand to eye coordination. Regular sports and PE also helps regulate body functions such as digestion, improves cardiovascular health, and blood circulation. It also helps improve other physiological processes in the body. Most children carry their fitness habits into adulthood. These habits help them avoid health-related complications and concerns later on.

Academic success

It is mostly seen that students who are active in physical fitness and education tend to study and do exceptionally well in their academics. Students that gain physical training in sports have higher levels of understanding and grasping. They are also known to be more alert and focused in classrooms during lessons. Physical education due to sports teaches children the importance of balance on and off the playing field. For these children, excelling at schoolwork is as vital as excelling in sports.

Skill development

With the help of physical education, students can understand concepts of teamwork and leadership. They also learn necessary life skills such as self-reliance, confidence nurturing and building, critical thinking, and time management. Students can develop prerequisites needed to hone emotional and mental intelligence required while playing sports. They also learn the importance of healthy competition and life lessons of winning and losing. As a skill, most children and adults who play sports are known to be able to deal and handle stress very well. Stress due to academics, peer pressure, homework, and families is quickly dealt with because of regular physical education in sports.

Mental and emotional development

Children exposed to sports at an early age are shown to be more sensitive towards their teammates and develop an instinctive understanding of support and leadership. For students playing a sport, captaincy, and teamwork to win a game go hand in hand. Emotional skills development, confidence building, rapport building, and focus and concentration and developed with physical education in sports. Students who are known to play a sport are usually happier and can deal with stress and peer pressure healthily in comparison to their classmates who do not take active participation in sports. Students are also able to deal with nervousness, stage fright, public speaking, anxiety, and performance stress.

Combating sleep deprivation

It is a well-known fact that everyone needs a good night’s rest. Physical education in sports helps in achieving restful sleep daily. Students and children who take part in physical activities like basketball, swimming, running, athletics, gymnastics, soccer, and riding are often seen to be exhausted, tired, and sleepy at the end of the day. Restful and complete sleep helps in improving concentration the next day, remaining alert and focused, and paying attention to studies, lectures, tutorials, and school work. Being well rested also helps students stay energetic and fresh throughout the day. It becomes easier for them to absorb knowledge and follow direction. Some older students may find it common to encounter difficulties sleeping, despite exercising. Common causes for such may include narcolepsy. Treatments like Zopiclone are the go to medication for these problems.