Many parents, particularly Asian parents, don’t really care about sports – at least mine didn’t. As long as their kids come home with good results on their report cards for all the subjects that matter, they could be failing PE for all the parents are concerned.
However, even if your child isn’t planning on pursuing a career in sports, there are many reasons why you should be concerned about his or her PE results, and should try to encourage him or her to participate in sports and other forms of physical activity. An increasing number of studies have shown that there sports and physical activity are not only important for our children's physical and mental health, but also for their cognitive delvelopment and academic performance.
Indeed, participation in sports and other physical activities can have a profound impact onour children's physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development, and this is reason enough to take these activities more seriously.
The benefits of sports and physical activityHere are some of the benefits of participating in sports and physical activity:
- Emotional wellbeing - develops confidence, self-esteem, self-concept; provides sense of belonging, opportunity to achieve; improves quality of sleep; allows self expression.
- Health – encourages healthy growth and development; develops coordination and balance; reduces risk of obesity and other related diseases.
- Mental health – improves concentration, and stress and anxiety management.
- Social skills – encourages cooperation and teamwork; develops friendship and integration.
- Learning and productivity – develops motivation and improves learning outcomes.
- Positive school environment – reduces aggression and disciplinary issues.
- Reduction in anti-social behaviour – reduces likelihood of smoking, illicit drug use and criminal activity.
- a positive link between physical activity and academic performance – children achieved higher grades.
- positive correlation between sports performance and academic ability (so you should be concerned about your child’s “F” in PE).
- physical activity improves concentration, attention, and cognitive control.
- a 10 minute energizer session beginning each day of the school week improved on-task behavior.
- acute bouts of physical activity exert short term benefits on cognitive functioning.