Physical Education in Elementary Schools

Topics: Exercise, Obesity, Strength training Pages: 6 (1815 words) Published: February 11, 2013
The Benefits of Physical Education in Elementary Schools
Meagan Stanley
October 14, 2012

The benefits of Physical Education in Elementary Schools

There are numerous benefits of physical education in elementary schools which have been listed by the advocates of physical education, scholars and researchers. Over the years, different research studies have been undertaken which have reviewed the benefits and relevance of physical education and sport (PE) in elementary schools. Based on the reviews and insights offered by different scholars, overwhelming benefits have been identified from PE. The benefits of PE are diversified and range from integrated developments of body and mind, cognitive development, enhancement of self confidence and self-esteem, academic achievement and social development among others. Significant differences have been identified among children or even adults who have undergone physical educations and those who have not. The benefits of PE in elementary schools can be viewed from the child development in the following domains, physical, affective, lifestyle, social and cognitive. There are key areas of a child’s life which are greatly impacted by PE. In particular, Physical Education helps with the development of Children's social, motor and cognitive skills along with promoting a lifelong healthy way of living. To begin with, physical education supports cognitive development in children. As argued by Bailey (2006), the claim that “healthy body leads to a healthy mind” is beyond doubt. In his arguments, Bailey (2006) acknowledges that physical activity contributes to the intellectual development of children hence the need for its prioritization. Through physical activity, the flow of blood to the brain is increased which helps in cognitive development resulting in better academic performance. Physical education impacts positively on mood, self-esteem and mental alertness all of which are key elements in cognitive development. A positive correlation has been identified between intellectual functioning and physical education hence demonstrating the benefits of PE in cognitive development. The issues of absenteeism, attentiveness and disciple are significantly influenced by physical activity which in turn boosts cognitive development (Bailey, 2006). Regular physical activity has been attributed to higher concentration levels among students. This does not only help in cognitive development but also results in higher academic performance. PE is important in the development of memory skills, whereby children are able to remember the rules, play games, such as, dodge ball where children have to remember who got them out and count sit ups which help in remembering sequential order. Through physical activity, children’s mental and cognitive ability is enhanced through the interaction with others. The mental alertness and blood flow to the brain, which is attained through physical activity yields to cognitive development which in turn develops memory skills. A point worth of consideration is that game and sequences undertaken by children during games require mental alertness and memory, thus meaning they are important to cognitive development (Thomas et al. 2008). Problem solving skills are also improved through PE, whereby children are able to solve problems with their peers during games. Because of the tactics required in winning different games, children learn how to be creative, thus gaining a better approach to problem solving. While working in groups, children are able to master problem solving methods during games and practice at their own time. This is a boost to cognitive development whereby the issue of problem solving skills is addressed (Bailey, 2006).

Through the participation in physical activities in undertaking different games, a child’s motor skills are developed. Motor skills are very important in daily life in the sense that they allow safe, successful and satisfying involvement...

References: Bailey, R. (2006). Physical Education and Sport in Schools: A Review of Benefits and
Datko, A. (2011, Fall). What are the Benefits of Physical Education in Schools? . Retrieved from
Endres, J., Rockwell, R., & Mense, C
Graham, G. (2008). Teaching Children Physical Education: Becoming a Master Teacher.
Haydn-Davies, D. and Kaitell, E. (2011). Physical Education beyond the Curriculum.
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