Health and Physical Education in Children

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Physical education in young children provides numerous positive factors which can lay the foundations that pave a healthy mind and body. Movement experiences in young children enable enhanced listening skills, generate prompt reaction and alertness, develop spatial and body awareness, improve concentration skills and coordination skills, increase self esteem and social skills, promote a greater rate of academically successful children and also cater an overall happy healthy active child which continues through to the teenage and adult years (Landy & Burridge, 2002, p. 3). This essay will demonstrate the importance of physical education in young children and draws upon various sources to justify the benefits of sustaining such practice.

Active children have improved health and enhanced academic learning (Monsen, 2008, p. 19). There is substantial evidence that indicates children who participate in regular physical activity, perform better in the classroom (Monsen, 2008, p. 19). Monsen (2008) states that children who undertake in physical activity tend to perform cognitive tasks more rapidly and have enhanced brain functioning (p.19). Developing cognitive abilities through physical activity where children participate voluntarily ensures aptitudes including fine motor and social skills (Pearson, Webb and McKeen, 2008, p. 30). For example, tracking the movement of a ball can assist children to track words across a page (Monsen, 2008, p.19). Physical activity allows and enhances children to use their knowledge, think critically, evaluate, use tactics, problem-solving, by being actively involved (both physically and cognitively) and by encouraging decision-making (Pearson et al., 2008, p. 31).

Physical education develops body awareness and self esteem. Physical well being is a key issue in developing and maintaining a healthy mind and body, even more so in the light of more and more children being affected by obesity (Active education, 2007). Further to this,...
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