87° Fort Worth
All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

Required P.E. would combat obesity

School is a place where students exercise their minds by learning and growing in knowledge. Academics become more and more important as education becomes more and more competitive. While the classroom may help children succeed in life, it may hinder their physical activity. This inactivity can lead to a state of poor health that progressively gets harder to reverse as the child grows.

According to the American Heart Association, 1/3 of U.S. children are overweight.

This problem has been growing throughout the years. The “Shape of the Nation” report states that the percentage of overweight young people has tripled since 1980. One solution to this problem would be to increase the number and quality of the physical education programs in schools.

Elementary and middle schools should allot between 150 and 225 minutes a week for physical education, as reported by the American Heart Association. This will be helpful in not only keeping the children active, but it will also give them the skills needed to stay active throughout their entire adult lives. Representatives of the American Heart Association are doing their part by communicating with states at the federal level, asking them to require physical education for all grades.

Most states do not require daily P.E. classes in kindergarten through 12th grade. The “Shape of The Nation” report for 2006 shows that physical activity in children slows as they get older. While 69 percent of high school freshmen may participate in a sport or P.E. class, only about 55 percent continue it until their senior year.

In June, Texas passed Senate Bill 530, which states children in sixth grade or below need 30 minutes a day of “moderate to vigorous activity.” Grades six, seven, and eight must take four semesters of a physical education credit, according to the bill.

At most universities, students are not required to fulfill any sort of physical education requirement. According to a study by Washington University in St. Louis, 70 percent of college students gain a substantial amount of weight in their first two years of college. One reason given by personal trainer and author Diana Keuilian, was that college students give up sports or other activities for their studies. TCU used to have a requirement to take a physical education activity class along with a P.E. Health class, but it is currently phasing out the requirement.

While studying is important, a healthy lifestyle is even more beneficial in the long run.

If educators start children off at a young age by encouraging them to do 30 minutes a day of activity, then maybe they will develop a healthier lifestyle, creating a strong foundation by the time they hit college. Physical education not only promotes strong bodies, but also a better knowledge of how the body works. With that knowledge, students can learn how to better care for themselves, therefore reducing health risks related to obesity and poor diet.

Future health depends on further activity and a well-rounded education that emphasizes not only academics, but athletics.

Hayley Freeman is a sophomore English major from Fort Worth.

More to Discover