Why Is P.E. Important?
Current research is demonstrating that the United States and many other countries are suffering from an obesity epidemic. Health researchers across the world are calling for children and adults to become more physically active. The benefits of regular physical activity include increased physical health, mental health, and even cognitive function. Quality physical education programs have been identified as a successful tool in promotion of physical activity and healthy lifestyle behaviors.
Today’s physical education programs are about teaching children the importance of regular physical activity. More importantly, these physical education programs engage children in a variety of movement skills, cognitive concepts, and social skills that have been designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skill to engage in a healthy and active lifestyle. Students who engage in physical activities and healthy lifestyles are more likely to grow into active and healthy adults.
Setting the Tone: Health is Important!
Once parents and teachers identify a core value. The core value will become reflected in the school system. For example: Reading has become a major focus in our school systems. To the point that students who can not read at grade level by the third grade have been identified, are given remediation programs and will even be retained as specified by recent state and federal legislation.
Setting the tone for good health demands similar action. First, we must expect our schools to have quality physical education programs that are taught by qualified teachers. The classes that our children participate in need to be adequately equipped so that children have ample opportunities to practice what they are learning. The curriculum that is taught needs to be age appropriate and meet the needs of elementary aged children. Finally, physical education classes need to focus on the process of being physically active instead of the product of physical fitness. Physically unfit children are not helped by participation in grueling fitness routines. They are however motivated to continue being active when the activity level meets their ability level, and that is when success continues and healthy behaviors grow. This is what Porter’s Physical Education program promotes.