Why Gym Class Should be Changed

Ben LaScola, Staff Writer


When you think of gym class, you most likely will remember the Elementary school experience. Dodgeball, running laps around the gym, and other fun games to get kids active. Flash forward to high school, that glimmer of fun and excitement is gone. Gym class these days has boiled down to a checkmark on most highschoolers’ curriculum to graduate. That’s right, if a highschooler doesn’t take a PE class or participate in a varsity sport, they cannot graduate. This is due to a Michigan law requiring one credit hour of physical education and one credit hour of health related classes which includes a personal health class, which is a much more influential and important class compared to PE. 

  Let’s look at this from a health perspective; the goal of PE is to keep kids active and fit on a day to day basis if the kids are not doing it themselves. However, the time frame given for students in a gym class, and the exercises put forth are so miniscule it becomes near pointless. The time it takes for a child to change and actually get into the fitness part of PE only gives kids about 30 minutes of exercise. On a five day basis that burns about 2-300 calories per day according to healthline.com. The average U.S. kid between the ages of 12 and 18 should be burning between 1600-3200 calories according to healthline.com. 

  On the other hand, gym class can teach valuable team skills with team sports and other activities even if being lackluster in fitness. These team building skills, however, are better suited in classes for group projects to accomplish an academic goal rather than trivial games. Gym class should not be stopped by any means, but should be changed heavily to have regular exercise that fits the adequate needs for a growing child. For a kid to run 5 laps and then play dodgeball is fun in all, but ends up being a waste of time, money, and energy. PE is a cornerstone class for any kid, but being required to get your diploma? That’s where some people draw the line.