A very intelligent brown haired, green eyed ten year oldgirl. Like many Canadian children, Andrea spends twenty-five to thirtyhours in school each week- sitting. Andrea’s school kept her mind active. Too bad they forgot about her body.
She is just one of the thousands ofCanadian children who can’t even run around the block. According to recentstudies, children who participate in daily physical activities are morefit, have better health habits, and perform better academically. Thereforeit is my belief that all Canadian schools should balance academics withquality, daily physical education. School children who participate in daily physical activities are morefit.
In North America, forty percent of all five to eight year olds can beclassified as obese, and beyond the age of twelve only ten percent ofCanadian youth are active enough to receive any kind of health benefit. Iam proud to be among this minority, however; I recognize that our nation isexperiencing a health crisis. What we need to do (both parents andstudents) is encourage the introduction of a new school program, whichdevelops and maintains cardio-respiratory efficiency, muscular strength,muscular endurance and flexibility. This program must be for everyone, notjust the elite athlete.
We need a program that encourages a positiveattitude towards personal fitness by meeting the needs and interests of allstudents. Most importantly, the program must be fun. By providing aseries of planned activities on a daily basis, we can be sure to see adramatic increase in physical fitness. Furthermore, active children will develop better health habits. Ifstudents become more aware of their bodies, they will appreciate therelationship between exercise and health. They will take an interest inthis relationship and become responsible for their personal health care.
In turn, active children will shy away from smoking, alcohol, and substanceabuse. Students will be reluctant to take part in such activities becausethey will be fully aware of the negative effects on the body. Thesechildren will also develop a positive attitude towards an active lifestyle. Continual physical education will instill in the child the desire toparticipate and the ability to use leisure time wisely. A child’s eatinghabits will also improve. The active child will choose their foods morecarefully to reflect their new, healthy lifestyle.
They will feast on thenatural sugars in apples and oranges, rather than on the sugar of a Twixbar. And water will be the most refreshing drink on the market. Patternsdeveloped early in life are likely to be carried on through to adulthood. What a wonderful life! A third advantage to vigorous physical activity for the student isenhanced academic performance. Exercise increases alertness as well asenergy levels; therefore the active child comes to school ready to learn.
A study done by Taylor & Taylor in 1989 states: “An individual enjoysimproved concentration, enhanced memory and learning, enhanced creativity,better problem-solving ability, and improved mood state for up to two hoursfollowing exercise. ” Students who are comfortable with their bodies tendto show a general boost in confidence. They become more willing to takerisks in other areas of school life, including academics. Self-confidenceallows a child to participate more freely in the classroom. A childwho exhibits low self-esteem will take fewer risks and undoubtedly miss outon many opportunities in life. Sports also allows the student to practicesocial skills in an informal environment.
Skills such as; co-operation,responsibility, leadership, communication and self-control. Not only arethese skills essential in the classroom, but they are also essential for arewarding and successful life. Quality, daily physical education means a planned program ofinstruction and activity. This program is for all students, to beexercised on a daily basis, throughout the entire school year. The benefitsare known and the need is obvious.
What could be more important? Now,just imagine what Andrea could achieve if her mind and body were bothactive! .