Importance of Physical Education in Academic Institutions

Physical Education is a subject that is commonly taught in both schools and universities. Its main goal is to improve students’ physical fitness and educate them on physical health and well-being. Plus the importance of physical education in academic life is more than a student can think of. A recent study by Edcan Network has shown that healthier students tend to be better learners, and participating in physical education does not have any adverse effects on their learning abilities.

Status of Physical Education in United States Schools



1950 to 1960

Important and Valued

1970 to 1980

Threatened with Elimination

1990 and onwards

Started to receive Importance again

Source: Sportwissenschaft

What is Physical Education?

Physical Education is a subject that focuses on teaching students the aspects of physical fitness and health. It combines the physical activities curriculum and the healthy aspects to ensure that every student is equipped with the knowledge of physical health to have a fit lifetime. Physical education promotes better concentration on academic subjects as well. It helps students unlock the significance of a healthy life with the help of physical activities.

Physical Activity Behavior of Young People

Here are some physical activity facts and figures for you based on research conducted in 6 to 40 years of people.


Physical Activity Duration


6 to 17 Years

60 Minutes Everyday


15 to 40 Years

50 Minutes Everyday


15 to 40 Years

Muscle Strength Exercises


15 TO 40 Years

Attended Physical Education Classes Daily


Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Physical Education and Its Impact on Student’s Performance

As per the committee of physical activity and physical education in the school environment, this is the impact of physical education on student performance:

  1. Research indicates that enhancing levels of physical activity and fitness could potentially enhance academic achievement.
  2. The current evidence indicates that physical activity has a significant impact on academic performance in mathematics and reading.
  3. The fundamental cognitive abilities involving focus and retention aid in the process of learning, and these abilities are improved by engaging in physical activity and maintaining higher levels of aerobic fitness.
  4. Engaging in physical activity, whether through occasional sessions or consistent long-term participation, can enhance cognitive function and promote brain health.
  5. Given the importance of time on task to learning, students should be provided with frequent physical activity breaks that are developmentally appropriate.

Here are some benefits of physical education by Gillet:

  • Better Focus

  • Improved Attendance

  • Better Academic Performance

  • Better Sleep Quality

  • Reduced Risk of Anxiety

  • Good Confidence

  • More Energy

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Challenges for Students to Acquire Physical Education?

No Access to Resources

Most students lack the resources to acquire physical education. It could be the unavailability of equipment or qualified instructors in schools or communities.

Poor Time Allocation

It might be difficult for students to maintain a consistent balance between physical education and academic schedules. They know the importance of Physical Education but may fail to balance their academic workload with physical activity requirements.

Lack of Motivation

Lack of motivation is commonly observed among most students. They view physical education as less important than academic learning which leads to disengagement and reluctance to participate in physical activities.

Social Pressure

Students may feel self-conscious about their physical abilities, especially when they are in competitive environments. This can create barriers to participation.

How to Overcome These Challenges

Students may encounter various obstacles when trying to balance physical education with academic studies. By maintaining consistency and staying motivated, these challenges can be successfully overcome. Here’s the author’s personal experience for your motivation which will also answer what is the importance of physical education.

During my time as a student, my academic schedule was quite demanding, leaving little time for anything else. Classes, assignments, and exams took up most of my day, making it difficult to even consider participating in physical education. However, one day a friend invited me to join his physical education class after our literature class. I decided to give it a try and found that it had a positive impact on me. I felt more energized and focused afterward, which helped me with my academic work. As a result, I decided to regularly participate in physical education. While it was initially challenging to make time for it every day, I eventually found a way to successfully incorporate it into my routine. In summary, engaging in physical activity through physical education has greatly benefited me as a student.

Top 8 Benefits of Physical Education

To get to know more about what is physical education and why is physical education important, we need to understand the benefits and importance of physical education in schools of physical education. The irony is that such an essential subject of physical education is not considered as important as other academic subjects, even though health should be everyone’s first priority because, with it, academic success is attainable.

A student of accounting, if they couldn’t understand the aspects of accounting, wouldn’t be a better accountant. A medicine student wouldn’t be a better doctor if they couldn’t understand the basics of medicine. Using this analogy, a student who has no or less understanding of physical health, would not be able to live a healthy life.

Weight Management

  • The tough routine of colleges and universities leaves very little time for students to be involved in physical activities, and that will lead to obesity, overweight, underweight and unhealthy weight issues.

  • Physical education equips students with unique tips to improve your physique as a college student and how you can lead to a healthy life ahead.

  • Weight management is a big issue for students because they can’t manage to spare time for physical health. Physical education will provide students with enough physical activities to exert energy and burn fat.

  • Physical activities will help underweight students build muscles and achieve a healthy weight.

  • Physical education will also warn students of the potential health risks related to weight, how they can stay fit, and learn weight management.

Strengthen the Bones and Muscles

  • Physical education involves students in physical knowledge. It also helps them practice the physical activities that will help them thrive in life.

  • Health is the most important asset of human beings, and the human body needs to be put through activities that will help it healthily develop over time.

  • Getting involved in physical activities will help students to develop their muscle and bone strength.

  • Constant involvement in sports and outdoor activities will help students to achieve muscle strength and strong bones.

  • Physical education helps students understand the diet and foods that promote a healthy body, like the perfect involvement of vitamins, proteins, minerals, and carbohydrates in daily diet.

Prevention of Various Health Risks

  • Physical education educates the students about the potential health risks and how to prevent them through physical exercises and workouts. Stressing the Importance of Physical Education.

  • It should be an essential subject at schools or universities because it is directly related to the well-being of students and how they can lead a healthy lifestyle.

  • Physical education forces students to step out of their classrooms, test their physical health through various activities, and teach them the importance of physical health.

  • Physical education helps prevent cardiovascular diseases through endurance and physical exercises. It also helps prevent diabetes by promoting a healthy diet for students.

  • There are many health hazards that students might face due to their laziness indoors and lack of physical routine. Physical education helps repel those hazards and promotes a healthy lifestyle for students.

Improves Mental Health

  • According to the statistics, one of the biggest challenges faced by the education system is the increasing college student mental health issues.

  • Every day, students fall into the pits of mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, and eating disorders.

  • Physical education helps students understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle and activities that aid in improving mental health.

  • Physical activities involve students in sports activities and healthy practices that will give them a sense of community and help them release their frustration and mental turmoil through healthy outbursts.

Reduces Academic Stress

  • Most students nowadays are under pressure and going through academic stress; physical education helps them exert their energy for the good.

  • Studying 24/7 will never be a healthy practice and students should be taught about their physical health aspects, potential hazards, and physical education importance.

  • It is proven by many statistics that physical education has a positive effect on the overall academic performance of students.

  • Getting involved in sports and other physical activities helps you understand how to improve your presentation skills academically.

  • Students will have less time to be worried about their academic stress when they have other healthy physical activities to spend time on. It will give them some time off from the constant pressure of the assignments and homework.


Prevention of Bad Habits

  • Physical education diverts students’ interest towards healthy and positive activities that help them grow and develop their skills.

  • Due to academic stress, many students adopt bad habits like drugs, alcohol, clubbing, and even skipping classes. Emphasizing why is physical education important.

  • Physical education helps students to focus on positive habits like sports, exercise, gym, and outdoor games.

  • Physical education helps students understand the importance of physical health and the potential hazards attached to it.

  • It has been seen that students who are athletic and involved in physical activities are more likely to refrain from bad habits.

Boosts Confidence

  • Physical education aids in boosting the student’s self-esteem and confidence by providing them with enough opportunities to present their skills.

  • The sports activities in which students participate help students evaluate their potential and become confident.

  • The appreciation from the PE teachers and the audience will ultimately help students ward off self-doubt and detect their potential.

  • Students active in physical activities are more likely to be risk-takers and confident academic experimenters.

Improved Self Discipline

  • The physical education programme explains very much how sports activities change students’ college life and promote overall self-discipline.

  • Physical education will help students understand the importance of healthy activities and a healthy way of life.

  • A better understanding of physical health will help students understand the importance of sleeping early, morning jogging, sports, and a healthy schedule.

  • A healthy routine will ultimately improve the students’ self-discipline and how they indulge in other activities. It will also reflect positively on their academic performance as well.

Resources to Learn 

Here are 5 top Universities in the US offering physical education courses:




Fees ($)

Starting Date

BA in Physical Education.

Northern Kentucky University

4 Years



B.S. in health and physical education.

Wayne State University

120 Credit Hours



BSED Physical Education Teaching 

University of Nebraska Omaha

120 Credit Hours



B.S in Education Exercise

Bowling Green State University

122 Credit Hours



M.ed Physical Education

DePaul University

56 Credit Hours

695 per credit hour


Five components of physical education

Still Confused?

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Get Involved in Physical Education

Physical education should be given the same amount of attention and time as other academic subjects because it is closely related to human health. It will equip students with vital knowledge and insight about physical health, potential health risks, healthy diet, and other important aspects of physical health. Some of the significant benefits of physical education are mental health improvement, weight management, prevention of health risks, strengthening of bones and muscles, reduction of academic stress, improvement of self-discipline and confidence, and prevention of bad habits. Hopefully, this article has answered all the questions about what is the importance of physical education.


91 Universities in the USA offering Sports / Physical Education Teaching etc…
Physical Activity Facts | Healthy Schools | CDC PDF
What is the impact of physical education on students’ well-being and academic success?

The main aim of physical education is to develop the cognitive and motor skills of the students with the help of instruction and information-based content. It is important in physical education to enable students to lead a physically fit and healthy lifestyle along with their academic capabilities.

Physical education focuses on five fitness components:

  • Body composition

  • Flexibility

  • Muscular strength

  • Muscle endurance

  • Cardiorespiratory endurance

Every physical education programme should follow the three principles to ensure the fitness and health knowledge of the students. Those three principles are overload, progression, and specificity.

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