We know that physical activity can benefit participants in many ways. These benefits are not however, natural by-products of random participation. Physical education programs must be designed specifically to reach selected objectives. Some of the beneficial outcomes which can be achieved though participation in the appropriate kinds and amounts of physical activity are:
Reduced risk of heart disease:
Physical education can counteract major risk factors of coronary heart disease: obesity, inactivity and high blood pressure.
Improved physical fitness:
A good program improves children's muscular strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, body composition (fat-to-muscle ratio) and cardiovascular endurance.
Regular physical activity increases bone density to create a sturdy skeleton.
A good program can help children regulate their weight by burning calories, toning their bodies and improving their overall body composition.
Appropriate physical activity prevents the onset of some diseases and postpones the debilitating effects of the aging process.
Quality physical education can influence moral development. Students have the opportunity to assume leadership, cooperate with others and accept responsibility for their own behavior.
A good program teachers children to follow rules and established procedures and to be responsible for the own health-related fitness.
Physical education develops skills which allow enjoyable and rewarding participation in physical activities. New skills become easier to learn.
Experience setting goals:
Physical education gives children the time and encouragement they need to set and strive for personal, achievable goals.
Improved self-confidence and self-esteem:
Physical education instills a strong sense of self-worth in children. They can become more confident, assertive, emotionally stable, independent and self-controlled.
Physical activity is an outlet for releasing tension and anxiety.
Strengthened peer relationships
Physical education can be a major force in helping children socialize with others more successfully. Being able to participate in games and sports is an important part of fitting in, especially for those in late childhood and early adolescence.
Reduced risk of depression
Physical education is effective in the promotion of mental health.
More active lifestyles
Physical education promotes a more positive attitude towards physical activity.