How Do Physical Education Classes Benefit High School Students?

By Santana Hutchinson

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While many students might feel that Physical Education (P.E.) classes do not help them, P.E. classes can, in fact, help students in a variety of ways. P.E. is a great way to stay focused in school and can also help students develop strong social skills.

Focus

One of the ways in which P.E. classes can help students is by helping them focus in their academic classes. According to edutopia.com, students who attend P.E. classes have a longer attention span and a better memory. Those who do not have P.E. seem to fall behind in their classes. Kids who have P.E. are more stable and don’t get irritated as easily because they can relieve their stress by redirecting their focus on a different subject.

“I think P.E. helps me drain all the energy out of my body so I can sit still in my other classes. It also keeps me from getting mad at people,” said senior Sam Schnieder.

In 2008, The National Association for Sport and Physical Education did a study and found that students from a northern California high school who took P.E. classes had better academic scores than the students without P.E. classes.

“The research is compelling. Regular, sweaty exercise helps us think well by stimulating new brain cell growth, increasing connections between cells, and improving attention and memory,” said Dr. Jeanne Segal.

Social skills

Social skills are a big part of life, and P.E is a great way to learn and acquire social skills. The University of Michigan gathered physiological data of how high school students acted before and after they had took P.E. classes. Their data showed that all of the students with P.E. classes worked amazing with partners and participated in every activity.

P.E also shows students how to be leaders such as being a team captain, picking people for teams, and battling for the win.

Freshman Xitlali Mason thinks that her P.E. class helps her with social skills. “I feel P.E helps me figure out who is and is not athletic.” This allows her to see who is striving to be better at athletics.

It is understandable that not everyone can or want to participate in P.E. However, those students were to give P.E. a shot, perhaps they would see that it can be an outlet to help them relieve stress and anxiety, and also stay focused. If students have the opportunity to take and participate in P.E, just trying it once would allow students to see the difference throughout their day and even see improvements in their performance in the classroom.

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