Should Phys Ed Be Required?

Kids can feel as though physical education is a waste of their time. Many view the class as just a free period where other schoolwork could be done. This rising argument has led to many requesting that there be alternatives to gym class or that it be eliminated from schools entirely. However, physical education is arguably one of the most important courses to have in school because it emphasizes the significance of health and provides health benefits for students. So, should gym be a required class in school?

People have reason to believe that gym decreases students’ self-esteem. Some students are introverted and do not enjoy “teaming up,” while others take sports very seriously and may tend to act aggressively towards their classmates. According to What Is Happening magazine (wh-magazine.com), “Forcing students to take part in physical education classes hampers the rights of the children and puts them at risk of being compared and judged by peers and faculty alike.” Every quarter, students in gym are required to complete a series of physical tests to improve one’s endurance and strength. These tests include the pacer test, the push-up test, the curl-up test, and the sit and reach test. Some kids may feel compared when their peers get a higher score on the criteria and think that they cannot run as fast as the others or are not as strong.

However, physical education is claimed to be one of the most essential classes in school because it decreases the rate of obesity in children. As WH Magazine explains, “Many people voice their concerns to the media about the growing child obesity problem, and they feel that more strenuous physical activity in schools is needed to combat the problem.” At LHS, a form of physical activity is a required part of all students’ schedules. LHS students must attend a physical education class every other day and participate by doing something active such as playing sports or participating in other activities.

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LHS provides alternatives to general physical education classes, such as yoga, mindfulness, and strength training, that are offered to juniors and seniors. Johnny Lu, a sophomore, stated, “Options should be opened up to students. You need a good portion of time for physical activity and save school hours by having activities after school.” Having alternatives in school will help students feel more comfortable and minimize their stress. Classes like yoga and mindfulness provide relief for kids after a long, exhausting school day. Regularly participating in an active lesson that you enjoy, such as dance or gymnastics, is extremely important. Jennifer Kramer, a health educator, explained, “If you don’t enjoy it, you’re never going to do it in your real life.”

Physical activity is part of one’s everyday life. It is tough to avoid. You may not realize it, but even the little things like walking or jumping around at a concert are forms of physical activity. Practicing physical activity is essential outside of school, too. It is important to have a workout routine and maintain a healthy diet so you can reach your goals and feel your best. Ms. Hernandez, a student teacher, commented, “The process is hard, but the end result is satisfying.”