why health and pe should be mandatory in american schools

Topics: Obesity, High school, Exercise Pages: 6 (1036 words) Published: May 18, 2014
Why health and fitness should be a mandatory four year course in American High Schools.

Upon entry into this world, we as humans are given ONE body. If we do not take of our body, we will have no place to live. What better place to inform the American society of the vitality in health and fitness than school? Who better to inform of the importance of this subject than the up and coming generation? In order to communicate the value of health fitness to America, it must be a mandatory subject for high school students to complete four years of this course. Unfortunately, this topic is not properly emphasized in American education.

There is an obesity epidemic in our country today. According to www.cdc.gov in the year 2010 approximately sixty-nine percent of people twenty years of age and over are considered overweight. I strongly believe that this percentage is so high because the people of America are undereducated in the health and fitness department. The people of America do not know just how much they are taxing their bodies by not eating proper foods or getting an adequate amount of physical activity. This is because they were NOT TAUGHT the importance of nutrition and exercise in school.

Do not misinterpret me. I know that PE and health classes are offered in school. For example, at my high school our freshman year it was mandatory to take ONE SEMESTER (5 months) of PE and ONE QUARTER(2.5 months)—JUST ONE—of health. Any further education in that department was the student’s choice. But let’s be honest. In our growing world of technology, if a student had the option between a weight training course and a iMac digital communications class, they would choose the computers over exercising.

In those five months of PE, we learned how to play an incredible amount of useless ball games and how fast we ran the mile. In my opinion, the concept of “physical education” in the public schooling system is completely warped. Students shouldn’t be graded for how fast they can run a mile or how many people they can hit in a game of dodge ball. Students should be graded on their understanding of why the human body needs exercise. Especially in high school, students are grown or are growing into their adult bodies. They need to understand their body so they are not at risk for injury or worsen any current injuries. Just like students learn the quadratic equation, and how to write a rhetorical analysis essay in school, they need to learn the value of physical fitness.

Physical education is VITAL for students’ development throughout their entire lives. Also, physical activity helps students perform better in school. Exercise promotes blood and oxygen to the brain, allowing the students attention span to increase. If a student practices a healthy physical lifestyle in their school years, it will carry on into their adult years. Exercise decreases the risk of disease and obesity. Just like a person eats and drinks every day to stay alive and well, they must exercise to preserve themselves and choose to live a healthy life (http://bcsd.k12.ny.us). In high school health, we learned basic sex education; such as how to use a tampon, how child birth works, or how to put a condom on (Stuff that kids in our generation should have learned much earlier than the 9th grade). However, we never learned about what we should put in our bodies. Nutrition is also a vital part of education because just like physical fitness, nutrition plays an important role in proper growth and development. If a student is consuming a balanced diet, then their physical performance will improve (http://home.preventioninstitute.org). A survey done by Discovery news, found that two thirds out of one thousand two hundred thirty-four adult Americans’ do not receive an adequate amount of nutrients, due to lack of fruit and vegetables in their everyday diet (http://news.discovery.com) . Processed foods make up seventy percent of the average American diet...
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