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Old 05-12-2013, 05:26 PM   #13
Xcelratr
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: So Cal - 310
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The author's view is so simplistic, so binary.

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If I had not been subjected to such effective team-building exercises, maybe as an adult I would not be such a loner. Experiences in school can have a devastating effect into adulthood. A British study from Loughborough University showed that physical education in school can be so traumatic that it turns women away from physical fitness for the rest of their lives.
How many would-be loners ended up with more friends, more socially-well-adjusted, more prepared for the competitive nature of the world, and more physically healthy/athletic than they would have been if they hadn't been "subjected to such effective team-building exercises"?

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Needless to say, my physical fitness did not improve over the course of my school career. Instead, I developed a slouch and the impression that my perfectly normal body was disabled. A notion that, despite being in perfectly good shape, I held onto until I was 30.
Wait, I thought female body issues came from fashion magazines and porn. Now it's sports/PE in school? Geez, I need a flow chart.

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To make matters worse, sports in a school setting are not even an effective way to get exercise. According to a 2006 investigation, high school students got an average of 16 minutes of actual exercise a in an hour of gym class. The notion that our school gymnasiums are the breeding ground for our nation’s professional athletes has kept physical education from actually educating children about their bodies or how to use them
I'm sure it's no small challenge to fit PE class into a normal school schedule. Take a 50 minute period, subtract a few minutes at the beginning and end for changing clothes, some time for explaining the game or exercise or whatever, selecting teams, setting up/breaking down equipment, instruction/coaching and so on, and it's understandable that there's little time left for actual activity. But 16 min/hr is weak sauce from a fitness POV. So if that's true, I would be in favor of making changes that would increase the min/hr.

Given the health issues in the nation, I would also be in favor of attempting to better educate mid/high school students about nutrition and give them more classroom education about physical fitness and overall health. But there's no way I'd be in favor of LESS exercise/sport/physical activity.

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Some schools have changed their curricula to reflect a healthier, more inclusive view of physical education. Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative promotes healthy eating and a positive outlook to combat childhood obesity. However, many schools still teach that fitness has to be a competitive venture, which rewards those who are already comfortable in their bodies while making others flounder their way into adulthood needlessly diminished and damaged.
Again, why is it necessarily one or the other? How many kids were lousy athletes in 6th grade, but got better through HS? How many kids struggled with a few sports in their early HS years and then discovered the one they were really good at, or really liked, or were really passionate about by their junior/senior years?

How many kids were never that great at any sport, but they still put their best effort into participating, and THAT effort was what became character-building for them, THAT is what gained them the respect of their peers, THAT is what taught them to persevere?

Besides, learning that you're not athletic is still LEARNING. If the author hadn't learned early and well that she's not athletic, how much trouble would she have gotten herself into over the years by overestimating her ability to do a hike, play a sport, outrun a mugger, etc?



Ignoring the psychology of the whole thing for a moment, to be healthy, people don't need to win, or even be good at, competitive team sports. To be healthy, people don't need to be world-class, or even zip-code-class at, individual sports.

But to be healthy, people need exercise. And suggesting that kids these days need LESS exercise and activity, that it should be removed from the primary institution that kids deal with, is ridiculous.
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