As academic achievement becomes top priority for parents and schools, physical education (PE) frequently falls to the bottom of the school week. PE offers many benefits to kids, however, and taking it out of the school day may actually hurt academic performance.

PE offers a mental break from focus-driven, test-based academic classes. Many scientific studies have shown that physical education in schools leads to higher standardized test scores and better focus in the classroom.

In addition to academic benefits, PE in schools provides physical fitness for kids, sometimes their only opportunity for fitness in a day. The National Health Service recommends that kids aged 5-18 years should get 60 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. Kids may not focus on fitness at home, making that recommendation difficult to follow if it’s not offered as part of the school day. A 2013 study by the American Heart Association found that kids around the globe were approximately 15% less fit than their parents were when they were that young. Specifically in the U.S., the same study found that it takes kids 90 seconds longer on average to run a mile compared to kids of the same age 30 years ago.

Kids often love PE for the opportunity to play, be outside, and release stress. There’s also the social aspects of PE classes. PE classes, sports especially, teach kids teamwork, leadership, perseverance, and a host of other life skills that they can use while they’re in school and beyond.

If your kids are feeling the lack of PE classes in their days and you’re needing an after school or summer day camp, consider SportsTyme in Central Florida. SportsTyme offers the same benefits of PE classes with the added benefit of being a safe after school facility for kids to spend their time.