It goes without saying that our society is getting more and more sports oriented. However, at the same time we’re turning into lazy creatures who’d rather prefer to watch TV at home with chips or sweets rather than do some sports, or at least, have a little walk. Younger generation is no more interested in playing in the garden but is looking for an opportunity to buy a new video or computer game. Technology is developing and we’re always happy to discover something new. Yet, we shouldn’t forget about general concepts such as keeping ourselves feet, for when you’re ill and old- you won’t get a very much satisfaction from watching TV or playing computer.
Today, as many as one-quarter of our children are obese. This number has doubled in the last decade alone. Conditions, which are generally associated with obesity and inactivity, range from diabetes and cardiovascular disease, to attention deficit disorder. Of children aged 5 to 10, 61% have one or more cardiovascular disease risk factors. Adult-onset or better known as type 2 diabetes is now seen quite regularly among adolescents (PE4Life.com). Our kids are simply not exercising enough.
One recent study found that only 20% of students met all the minimum health related fitness standards. More then 40% did not meet the minimum for heart health. These are scary numbers. Many administrators are well aware of the condition today's children are at physically, but believe it is the job of the parents to help their children build strong and healthy bodies. I disagree, these individuals are obviously unaware of the effects on mental health physical activity can have and how much it helps to increase students' capacity for learning.
In physical education classes, student will be given many opportunities that are not given in the typical classroom setting. Kids are full of energy and need to move around. While in a classroom setting, if a child needs to move around or talk and let some energy out they will be reprimanded. In physical education class there are only a few minutes each class where talking is discouraged. Kids are encouraged to run, jump, skip, laugh, talk, and have a great time with friends in a structured setting that teaches skills they will use for the rest of their lives. Again, health is a big concern for today's young people. Only through physical education can students learn the correct and basic skills for throwing, skipping, catching, and kicking to name a few; It is only through physical education that students can gain the knowledge for developing and monitoring their own fitness levels.
Of course, children and adolescents who are regularly physically active will also experience many physical benefits. These include enhanced skeletal development, increased muscle and bone strength, raised ability to control weight, reduced anxiety and stress, as well as improvement of coordination. When talking about increased muscle strength it is important to make sure everyone knows the heart is included in this section. The heart is a muscle, and through regular physical fitness will grow stronger, reducing the risk of heart disease.
While experts agree that daily physical education classes are the best way to teach large numbers of children healthy lifestyles, Illinois is the only state with a daily physical education requirement for all grades. Ohio requires only half a year of physical education to graduate from high school. Students in kindergarten through sixth grade are required to take 100 minutes per week of either physical education or music while 7th and 8th graders are required to take 80 minutes per week (Stephens).
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