Fit vs. Fiction's Blog


Hey School Boards: Stop telling my kids Physical Education is just not that important!

Recently, I was talking with some university students about the challenges they face when it comes to staying fit and healthy at school and an issue that came up a lot was TIME. It seems that they just don’t have enough time to fit exercise into their schedules. I truly believe a big part of that is because, from the minute they start school our school systems tell them that it’s just not that important. I talk about this a lot because it infuriates me that with all the focus being being on what our kids are eating,  there seems to be a lack of focus put on what our kids are DOING!

Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of commercials on TV telling us that our kids are playing too many video games and not getting outside enough, but the fact is, our kids are in school MOST of the day and are SUPPOSED to having scheduled “Play time”, and way too often, they are not.

In many elementary schools, kids are supposed to have Phys Ed classes between 1 to 3 times a week ( not enough in my books) and yet, I can’t tell you how many times my kids have come home from school complaining that gym class was cancelled because: They had an assembly, they had a presentation instead, the gym was being used for something else, the class was being too noisy, they didn’t finished their math lessons,etc…. it seems like gym class is the first one to be cancelled when the teachers need to make room for something else and I’m just not okay with that! While it’s become alright to cancel a gym class in order to get more work done in a different subject, you’d never hear a teacher say, ” Well class, Since we didn’t finish our volleyball game, we’ll have to miss math.”  Understand, I am NOT, in any way, blaming teachers for this problem, I have seen some amazing teachers at my kids’ school who spend their time and energy working with afterschool activities that help keep kids active, but it’s bigger than that. In 2005, Elementary schools in Ontario started the “Healthy schools initiative” which was supposed to ensure that every class got 20 mins of moderate to vigorous sustained physical activity EVERY DAY; sadly, most teachers admit to WANTING to participate but just aren’t able to fit it into the daily schedule.

The message our kids get is that exercise is an afterthought and that being active is great…IF you have time, when they should be learning that being physically active will not only benefit their health, but as a result, will help them concentrate better in school.

By the time most kids hit Secondary School, phys ed class becomes an OPTION. A lot of kids don’t have to take it if they don’t want to. Again, the message is that in order to succeed you MUST work hard at academics and if that leaves no room for physical activity, so be it.

By the time these kids get to University, it’s no wonder they are feeling incredibly pressured to perform well academically and feel that making room for exercise is a luxury they can’t afford!

A study out of Queen’s University revealed that 51% of female students between 18-25 years old reported binge eating due to stress and pressure to succeed academically and stress is also known to increase the risk of heart disease. Interestingly enough, Exercise has been proven to be a great stress REDUCER!

If our school boards think they are doing our kids a favor by keeping them tied to their chairs and computers, they are sadly mistaken.

All the professional and financial success in the world means nothing…if you don’t live long enough to enjoy it.

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2 Responses to 'Hey School Boards: Stop telling my kids Physical Education is just not that important!'

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  1. myiejourney said,

    Sigh…yes, very well put. And the excuse, “I don’t have time” plays well into adulthood. I’m still making that excuse. Although I’m trying to break the habit and negative thoughts associated with exercise…it’s tough work.

    • fitvsfiction said,

      It IS toug
      :o)h..but you can rewrite the rules of exercise! Do it your own way, in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re repenting for anything or that you have to live up to any unrealistic expectations. Just find something you truly ENJOY doing and do it..for FUN!


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