Should High Schoolers Be Required to Take Gym Class?

Should High Schoolers Be Required to Take Gym Class?

Samantha Zakrzewski, Writer/Editor

From changing in the overcrowded locker rooms to the gruesome body odor plaguing everyone’s nostrils, gym class is far from ideal for most people. Rather than exercising, students sit around on their phones or chatting with their friends. Not to mention, many students who do take gym class find themselves doing the bare minimum for warm ups and the activities. So that leads to the big question: should high schoolers be required to take gym class?

For starters, students aren’t even active during gym class. They spend a majority of the period sitting or standing around. They aren’t actually working out or doing anything useful. Even when they “play” games, they stand around, not actually playing. Many stand around, texting their friends or scrolling through social media on their phones. If students aren’t actually working out, what’s the point of having this class?

Although it is partially their fault for choosing not to participate, many students feel that gym class is a waste of time. Rather than having gym class, some students would rather take additional AP classes that they can’t fit into their schedule due to the physical education requirement.

A part of the reason that many students are unmotivated to participate in gym is that they play sports outside of school or they go to the gym on a regular basis. Many are sore from their workouts or from their sports and don’t have the energy to participate in gym class. They also may feel that the activities they do in gym class aren’t effective. If a student participates in a sport or goes to a gym outside of school, they shouldn’t be required to take gym as they are already meeting their physical education requirement.

Yet, physical education does have it’s benefits. For one thing, it provides students with the ability to develop a healthy lifestyle by teaching them how to take care of their bodies. The class encourages students to exercise and stay active. With obesity rates rising in our country, it’s extremely important to promote eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. If eating healthy and exercising is instilled into teenagers, it will stick with them throughout their adulthood. How are schools promoting healthy lifestyles if they remove physical education from the curriculum?

Not only does gym class promote healthy lifestyles, but it is also a great stress reliever, enabling students to move around and burn off energy. This class is that much needed break in between classes in which students sit at their desks writing papers or solving math problems. Students are able to stretch and move their joints and release all of that bottled up energy.

It’s also important to keep in mind that there are students who genuinely enjoy gym class. They find that it’s a great break in between their classes and they enjoy participating in the activities.

Although many students would happily agree to giving up gym class, it’s important for them to realize the benefits of gym class. If students took the class more seriously, they could really learn a lot from it, regarding eating habits and exercising.