Physical education is important because it helps students stay physically active, develop interests in different types of physical activity, build teamwork and other social skills, and improve focus and academic performance. Physical education programs are increasingly being cut back in schools, which proponents argue is detrimental to students.
Physical education helps students increase physical activity, both in and out of school. Children enrolled in physical education classes not only improve their own health but also learn to have a more positive attitude toward physical fitness in general. Children learn to draw a correlation between physical health and general well-being, which resonates outside of the gym or classroom. Students who take physical education courses are more likely to be active outside of school, participating in a variety of sports and other physical activities. Students can also use P.E. class to learn which sorts of physical activities they are interested in. Through exposure to a wide variety of activities, students can discover which ones engage them the most, making them more likely to continue exercising regularly. Physical education also helps children build social skills such as teamwork, sportsmanship and respect for others. Finally, physical education can actually help improve academic performance. Even moderate physical activity can improve both attention and brain function, helping kids concentrate better in class and perform better on exams.