Physical Education (PE) in schools is massively important for young people, for many reasons. It allows them to learn to appreciate the value of exercise, reduces the rate of childhood obesity and helps them learn fundamental motor skills. What’s more, it inspires confidence within school students; every time they have a positive experience while playing sport, like a new personal best or scoring a goal, they become increasingly more self-assured. Confidence is something that can help a child perform well in other areas of their lives, both from a personal perspective, as well as academically. A prep school in Somerset explores more of the benefits of PE below.
Arguably the most obvious advantage to a child engaging in physical activities at school is the fact that it allows them to increase their muscular and cardiovascular endurance and general Musculo-skeletal development. As a result, they are less likely to face certain illnesses as they grow up, like coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health issues. Highlighting the importance of staying physically fit to children from a young age will help them build healthy habits throughout their lives. Sport can also help improve sleep and increase energy.
When a child’s blood is pumping through their veins at a faster rate, there are more antibodies and white blood cells running through their body. These antibodies and cells are responsible for attacking illness, meaning physical activity can help to boost the immune system. Many children don’t get enough exercise at home, especially with the rise of smartphones and other technology, which promotes sedentary behaviour. What’s more, lots of children don’t have access to a garden or other safe place to play outside, making it all the more important for them to have regular PE lessons at school.
However, as well as physical benefits, sport can also help young people with their mental health. Exercise causes the human body to release chemicals, such as endorphins and serotonin, that supress hormones related to tension and stress. Exams, lessons, homework and friendship problems can all put children under massive amounts of pressure, so by engaging in fun physical activities, they are able to take break and release some of this stress in a healthy, structured manner. In addition, exercise can reduce the likelihood of depression and anxiety. As a result, children are able to return to the classroom feeling happier, with a more focussed outlook.
What’s more, when a child is challenged physically, they also become more mentally resilient. They reach a physical goal, which pushes them to reach the next goal; it can often be quite an addictive process. Being mentally able to cope with the challenges on a sports field can help a child feel as though they can handle more of anything, no matter what area of their life. Of course, we should remember the phrase “everything in moderation”, as there can always be too much of a good thing.