Students learn the health-related benefits of regular physical activity and the skills to adopt a physically active, healthy lifestyle.The discipline provides learning experiences that meet the developmental needs of students.
PE is a part of the coordinated school health system program.
Elementary students are required to receive 150 minutes per week of physical activity; however, this may be any combination of phys. classes, extra-curricular athletics, or "other programs and physical activities deemed appropriate by the local school board." While the health benefits of phys. classes are unquestionable, the budgetary strains and liability concerns are often enough to make states stop short of the AHA's recommended requirements.
This essay from the Journal of Law and Education, titled "School Liability: The Danger of Mandatory Physical Education Classes," speaks largely to the uncertainty that states face when considering mandatory physical education programs.
Understanding the differences between the two is critical to understanding why both contribute to the development of healthy and active youths.
Every student needs both a quality PE program and physical activity program.