Should PE be Mandatory? (2022)

Should PE be Mandatory? (1)

Pro: Mandatory P.E.

1)P.E. is more than just a class. Mandatory High School P.E. would help to facilitate the transition into continuing on with daily physical activity upon graduation by instilling good habits into students lives. High School Physical Education can introduce students to a wide variety of activities that they may never have the opportunity to try again. The large variety of activities presented in P.E. gives students the opportunity to find an activity that they enjoy, transforming P.E. from a class to a path towards lifelong healthiness.

2) Childhood Obesity at an all time high. The rates of obesity in Canada are higher than ever. "Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years" (Childhood Obesity Facts, 2015). This epidemic can lead to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and strokes. By promoting physical education and encouraging daily activity in students, we can aim to start lowering obesity rates.

3) Mind body Connection. Students who participate in physical activity each day are proven to be more focused in the rest of their daily activities.There is a connection between our mind and our body and we need to exercise each of these elements in order to help our bodies run efficiently. "We cannot doubt that a physically fit body can lead to a mentally fit mind and that a mentally fit mind can lead a physically fit and well body" (Griffiths, 2015). In a study done by Dan Bowen and Jay P. Green, they found that "schools that devote more energy to sports also produce higher test scores and higher graduation rates" (2000).

4) It's not all about fitness. P.E. is designed to help students develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be healthy for life. In the Alberta P.E. curriculum, Activity, Benefits Health, Cooperation, and Do it Daily are the four targeted areas. P.E. relies on a lotmore than just physical activity,it makes students aware of healthy food and lifestyle choices and encourages important life skills such asteam work and cooperation with others.This is important knowledge that will be helpful to students for the rest of their lives as they enter various career paths.

5) Daily recommended level of Physical Activity. According to the World Health Organization, the daily recommended level of physical activity for kids aged 5-17 in 60 minutes a day. (W.H.O) "The majority ofyoung peopledo not meet that goal" (Active Living Research, 2014). Providing kids with a one hour Phys. Ed. class in high school would help us the ensure that at a minimum, students are meeting this goal during week days.

6) Sedentary behaviors. "Research shows the amount of time young people spend in sedentary behaviors has increased in recent years" (Active Living Research, 2014). This same study examines daily T.V. watching and found that many kids were watching more than 3 hours a day. Kids don'tspend their free timebeing as active as they used to with the implementation of themany newtechnological devices.

In a study examining the connection between obesity and sedentary behavior in 12-year olds, a positive association was found between the two. The implementation of just 15 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day was shown tonegate obesity. (Mitchell, 2009).

Should PE be Mandatory? (2)

Con:Mandatory P.E.

​1) Bullying. P.E. is a subject where a high prevelance of verbal bullying is found.The change room, student skill level, and fitness testing are allareas in which bullying canoccur. Exclusion and gossip based on skill level were found to be the most prevelent forms of bullying in a study on bullying in physical education (Hurley & Mandigo, 2010). Evaluation concerns run high in students when it comes to changing in front of their peers or fitness testing; this occurs because of the concern that they are being watched by everyone. In a BYU led study, it was found that "when kids are bullied during physical activities like PE classes and sports, they tend to withdraw from being physically active — not just in class, but in general" (Collins, 2014). Making it mandatory for students participate in a P.E. could harm their level of physical activity for the rest of their lives.

2)Schedule too busy.Mandatory High School P.E. would lower the amount of time students had for both core and option classes.Schools would have to rearrange their schedules to accommodate the addition of mandatory P.E. University prerequisite courses do notincludephysical education and therefore High School students should not be required to make time for P.E. in their busy schedules.

3) School is for academics. School should be highly focused on academics as students can be active in their spare time outside of school. Kids can participate in various after school programs rather than usingtheir school time to be physicallyactive. Athletics are often getting in the way of High School academics with students missing classes for field trips and sports teams; students go to school to learn andacedemicsneed to be the number one priority.

4) Not everyone is competitive. Some students are simply not competitively driven and this can cause a disinterest in competitive sports. Making it mandatory for these students participate in sports and activities that they do not enjoy will not encourage them to participate in physical activity outside of school, but rather it may hinder them in out of school participation.

5) Expensive. The cost of maintaining the gymnasium and ensuring that the equipment in the gym is maintained can be very costly. Along withmaintenance, schools will frequently need new equipment to ensure safety/ prevent liabilities and to allow kids to try newactivities. The many costs of running a Physical Education program in schools could be put towards academics in the form of more teachers and better student resources.

6) Freedom of Choice. High SchoolStudents should be allowed to decide whether or not they wish to participate in physical education. As students are near the age of adulthood, "They should be able to do what they want with their body. They are young sensible adults on the verge of adulthood and deserve to be able to make their own decisions and learn from their own mistakes, it is all part of life and growing up" (Disadvantages of P.E., 2015). High School students will soon enough be making major life decisions and High School seems like an excellent opportunity to allow students to begin practicing their freedom of choice.

Physical Education began in 776 B.C. when Greeks held the first Olympiad. Throughout the years, P.E. has managed to maintain many of the same core values it had fromthe beginning; P.E. remains heavily focused on creating well rounded individuals in terms of principles and athletics. The Canadian Physical Education Association (CPEA) was founded in 1933 and thus began Physical Education in schools. In recent years, CPEA has changed it's name toPhysical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada), bringing the aspect of health into focus in P.E. classes. P.E. now generally focuses on the elements of cooperation, skills, health benefits, and lifelong learning. PhysicalEducation has different requirements from province to province, but the debate over whether it should be mandatory or not is ongoing across the nation. The rising health concerns in kids makes it known that our society is in need of getting more physical activity, but many wonder if physical activity is as important as the mandatory core classes in schools. There have been many attempts to alter P.E. programs to better meet the needs of students so we are left with two questions: Should Physical Education be mandatory in High School? and either way, "How can we alter Physical Education classes to better meet the needs of all students?"

(Video) The Real Reason Gym Class Is Terrible

In an online poll, I asked participants aged 18-25 to answer the following question: Did you participate in P.E. in grades 11 and 12, and if not, why? The question was in a multiple choice format with the options as follows: a) Yes i did b)No I did not because I did not have time/ it did not fit in my schedule c)No I did not because P.E. was too competitive d)No I did not because I did not like having to change for class e) No I did not because physical activity is not for me. My poll shows, as seen below, that those who did not participate in P.E. had two main reasons: The first being that it did not fit into their timetable/schedule and the second, that it wastoo competitive.
TedTalk: Run, Jump, Learn! How Exercise can Transform our Schools: John J. Ratey, MD at TEDxManhattanBeach

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ActiveLiving Research- Building evidence to prevent childhood obesity and support active communities. (2014). Retrieved from

Bowen, D.H., & Greene. J.P. (2000). Does Athletic Success come at the expense of academic success? Retrieved from
Childhood Obesity Facts. (2015, August). Retrieved from

Collins, L.M. (2014).When bullies strike in PE, kids avoid physical activities, BYU-led study says. Retrieved from bullies-strike-in-pe-kids-avoid-physical-activities-byu-led-study-says.htmlGreene, J.P. (2013).Does athletic success come at the expense of academic success? Retrieved from, E. (2015). Health- The Link Between Physical and Mental Health. Retrieved from

Hurley, V. & Mandigo, J. (2010). Bullying in Physical Education: Its Prevalence and Impact on the Intention to Continue Secondary School
Physical Education.
PHENexJournal. 2:3. Retrieved from

(Video) Why is physical education a student’s most important subject? | William Simon, Jr. | TEDxUCLA

Mitchell J.A. et al. (2009). Sedentary Behaviour and Obesity in a Large Cohort of Children,National Institutes of Health.Retreieved from

Physical Activity and Young People. World Health Organization (WHO).Retrieved from

The Disadvantages of Physical Education. (2015). UKEessays. Retrieved from

(Video) Should P.E be a mandatory class in highschool


Why should PE be compulsory? ›

Properly run physical education and health classes can help our students learn such critical social skills as cooperation, empathy and teamwork. Also, done correctly, it can promote higher self-esteem in our children and an increased sense of self-worth.

Is it mandatory for schools to do PE? ›

PE is a compulsory subject under the National Curriculum at all key stages; National Curriculum programmes of study outline what should be taught at each key stage.

Should PE be compulsory in schools essay? ›

Physical Education should be mandatory for all students because it can help students in other classes, makes them healthy, and increases their confidence. Physical Education can help students in other classes. Physical education will help students in other school classes because it gets the students brain more focused.

Why is PE the most important subject to a student? ›

PE improves motor skills and increases muscle strength and bone density, which in turn makes students more likely to engage in healthy activity outside of school. Furthermore it educates children on the positive benefits of exercise and allows them to understand how good it can make them feel.

Is PE important in life? ›

Psychological Benefits

Regular exercise achieved in physical education classes can combat this issue. Exercise also has other benefits to promote mental health, such as reduced stress, improved mood, better self-esteem, and increased mental alertness. All of these benefit students in highly positive ways.

Should PE be compulsory in schools pros and cons? ›

The pros and cons of mandating physical education classes are debated among parents, students and educators alike. PE classes can teach students healthy habits and build character. However, they can also take time away from academics and make some students feel self-conscious, different or left out.

Should PE be required every day? ›

It has been proven that kids who go to P.E. do better in their classes that day than if they didn't have P.E. This is because it allows the kids to work out extra energy and have the ability to focus more on their schoolwork. If kids have P.E. every day of the school week they would do better in classes all week.

When was PE made mandatory? ›

A law passed in 1911 made the teaching of physical education mandatory in communities with populations of 10,000. Another passed in 1919, stimulated by the revelations of the war draft statistics, required such teaching in communities of 3,000. At this time twenty-eight states had such laws.

Why should sports be mandatory in school? ›

Youth sports helps young athletes learn important life skills like goal setting and time management, as well as the following: High school students, especially female students, who play sports are less likely to drop out. Participation in team sports results in a higher GPA for both high school boy and girl athletes.

What are 5 reasons physical education is important? ›

10 Reasons Why Physical Education Is Important
  • #1 PE can help students improve their grades.
  • #2 PE improves self-esteem.
  • #3 PE can reduce depression.
  • #4 PE can help with anxiety.
  • #5 PE helps kids with ADHD.
  • #6 PE improves sleep.
  • #7 PE helps people manage diabetes.
  • #8 PE boosts heart health.
25 Aug 2021

Why do students skip PE? ›

Some schools exempt students from physical education if they have achieved "positive, passing, or high physical fitness test scores," according to the SHPPS. 2 This makes sense for some teens who are physically fit and active and will continue to be active even if they aren't attending gym class regularly.

What are three reasons why PE is important? ›

Here are five reasons why physical education is an essential part of a well-rounded education:
  • It Encourages Healthy Habits. First let's state the obvious: kids who get daily exercise are healthier. ...
  • It Reduces Stress. ...
  • It Encourages Prosocial Behavior. ...
  • It Promotes Good Sleep. ...
  • It Helps Students Concentrate.
29 Apr 2019

What are 10 benefits of physical education? ›

10 Benefits of Physical Activity for Students
  • Better focus in school. ...
  • Improves school attendance. ...
  • Better academic performance. ...
  • Builds a strong, healthy body. ...
  • Improves sleep quality. ...
  • Reduces risk of anxiety and depression. ...
  • Develops better social and problem-solving skills. ...
  • Build self-confidence.
2 Nov 2021

What are 3 benefits of PE? ›

Here are a few benefits of PE programs and playing sports:
  • Improved Physical Fitness and Health.
  • Strengthened Interpersonal Skills and Peer Relationships.
  • Improve student performance in academics.
25 Aug 2015

How will PE help me in the future? ›

Physical education helps students to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies to live healthy and physically active lives at school and for the rest of their life.

Why is PE important essay? ›

Physical education contributes directly to development of physical competence and fitness. It also helps students to make informed choices and understand the value of leading a physically active lifestyle. The benefits of physical education can affect both academic learning and physical activity patterns of students.

What are 4 benefits of PE? ›

Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.

Why we should not cut PE? ›

Decreasing (or eliminating) the time allotted for physical education in favor of traditional academic subjects does not lead to improved academic performance. Increasing the number of minutes students spend per week in physical education will not impede their academic achievement.

Why PE grades should not count? ›

Physical Education classes help to teach teens about the importance of exercise, but how fit they are personally should not affect their GPA. Teenagers should be graded on their test scores and participation, not how their bodies work and react to extreme physical activity.

Why is PE important in schools? ›

Physical education has been shown to be an essential part of a student's education. It helps students to stay healthy, learn teamwork skills, and have fun. In addition, physical education can also help students maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of obesity.

How do you skip PE? ›

When trying to get out of your physical education class, you might try asking your parents to write an excuse. Schools and physical education teachers will often accept parent's notes as valid excuses. Try asking your parents to help you skip the occasional gym class by getting them to write you a note.

How much PE do schools have to do? ›

The DfE recommends at least 90 minutes per week

It judges 4 key areas, 1 of which is time spent on PE in school. For this criteria: At least 90 minutes of PE per week is required for a bronze award.

Who invented school PE? ›

In 386 B.C., P.E. began in ancient Greece. Plato is the one who invented physical education, hosting classes at his school titled Akademia. He understood the importance of teaching children about physical fitness, and students began learning it at age seven.

Should sports education become mandatory? ›

Well, studies have suggested that physical activities play a vital role in the development of the brain. Sports not only reduce stress but also lead to improved creativity and better concentration power among students which automatically is reflected in their academic performance.

What are three 3 benefits of school sport participation? ›

... Sports helps the participants stay in shape, improve endurance, boost self-esteem, provide guidance and aid weight control, organize their time, boost friendships, teamwork and build relationships with their peers and adults.

Are sports necessary for students? ›

Sports are an important element of a student's growth and development. They aid in the growth of psychological well-being as well as bodily health. Participating in sports and activities can help a kid develop a variety of skills, experience, and confidence that will help them develop their character.

What are the 6 benefits of physical education? ›

6 Health Benefits of Physical Activity
  • Weight Control. Obviously physical activity is a great way to stay physically fit and stay in shape, which is a huge benefit. ...
  • Wards off Disease. ...
  • Improves your Mood. ...
  • Increases Energy. ...
  • Better Sleep. ...
  • Lowers Stress.
27 Oct 2014

Why is PE important in society? ›

Young people can improve academic success in PE and sport benefits. it also has a major contribution to the development of an individual in all aspects of life. it has an impact on behavior improving it, increases self esteem and also increases cognitive functioning.

Is it OK to fail PE? ›

If your school district requires PE credit to graduate, then you will need to take and pass the class. A2A. Most high schools or states have a PE requirement. If you do not meet that requirement one way or another, you will not graduate.

Does PE matter in school? ›

There are many benefits of physical education in schools. When students get physical education, they can5-7: Increase their level of physical activity. Improve their grades and standardized test scores.

Should kids have PE everyday? ›

Daily PE for all students is recommended by numerous national associations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, the National Association for State Boards of Education, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Heart Association, ...

What happens if you don't exercise? ›

Not getting enough physical activity can lead to heart disease—even for people who have no other risk factors. It can also increase the likelihood of developing other heart disease risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.

Is PE healthy for students? ›

Research shows that physically active students are more likely to attend school, are better able to focus in class and ultimately perform better academically. Physical activity increases brain function, reduces disciplinary problems and increases test scores.

What are 5 benefits of PE? ›

In addition to providing great exercise and developing motor skills, here are 5 hidden benefits of PE!
  • Inspires Self-Discipline. Kids who have access to high-quality PE programs are taught life skills that can be used forever. ...
  • Improves Peer Relationships. ...
  • Provides Stress Relief. ...
  • Teaches Goal Setting.
29 Jan 2022

Should PE affect a student's grades? ›

Studies have shown “that children who are physically active and fit tend to perform better in the classroom, and that daily physical education does not adversely affect academic performance” (Trost). Having children eat healthy and exercise correctly will not only benefit them health wise, but academically.

Why is PE so important essay? ›

Physical education contributes directly to development of physical competence and fitness. It also helps students to make informed choices and understand the value of leading a physically active lifestyle. The benefits of physical education can affect both academic learning and physical activity patterns of students.

Should students have PE everyday? ›

Amount of Required Physical Education: California mandates at least 200 minutes of physical education every 10 school days in grades 1-6, and also requires daily recess. The state also mandates at least 400 minutes every 10 school days of physical education in grades 7-8 and for all four years of high school.

What does PE provide for students? ›

As well as developing physical skills, PE teaches children intellectual skills, helps them navigate complex social situations, and nurtures their emotional development. However, these wide-ranging benefits are often overlooked, and PE is regularly underutilised as an educational tool.


1. Why P.E. Should Be Required In All Schools in The U.S.
(Tyler Johnson)
2. How playing sports benefits your body ... and your brain - Leah Lagos and Jaspal Ricky Singh
3. Should I Take the PE or FE Exam?
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4. High School Fitness (1962)
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5. How School Makes Kids Less Intelligent | Eddy Zhong | TEDxYouth@BeaconStreet
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6. PE should be required of all students throughout middle and high school
(Jennifer Etagga)

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