Sports Medicine

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 265–270 | Cite as

Is there a Long-Term Health Legacy of Required Physical Education?

Leading Article

Abstract

This article documents current literature on the potential long-term effects of school physical education on various outcomes in adults. A first observation is the rarity of publications on this topic. Nevertheless, the available literature suggests that physical education should offer a variety of either lifelong physical activities or sports in order to reach children with differing interests. In some children, competitive sports may generate a lifelong interest in physical activity, but most children may be better socialized by lifelong physical activities. In order to expose children to such a wide choice of physical activities, more time should be allocated to physical education instruction. Substantial further research is needed to increase our understanding of the long-term impact of school physical education programmes.

Keywords

Physical Activity Physical Education Vigorous Physical Activity Physical Education Class Homeroom Teacher 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Funding from the Social Sciences and Humanity Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) was used to assist in the preparation of this review. The authors have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this text.

References

  1. 1.
    Wardle J, Brodersen NH, Boniface D. School—based physical activity and changes in adiposity. Int J Obes (Lond) 2007; 31 (9): 1464–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Healthy schools for healthy kids. Seattle (WA): Pyramid Communications, 2003: 57 [online]. Available from URL: (http://www.rwjf.org/files/publications/other/HealthySchools.pdf) [Accessed 2008 Jan 29]Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Faulkner G, Goodman J, Adlaf E, et al. Participation in high school physical education — Ontario, Canada, 1999–2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2007; 56 (3): 52–4Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lowry R, Brener N, Lee S, et al. Participation in high school physical education — United States, 1991–2003. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2004; 53 (36): 844–7Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Vilhjalmsson R, Thorlindsson T. Factors related to physical activity: a study of adolescents. Soc Sci Med 1998 Sep; 47 (5): 665–75Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sallis JF, Mc Kenzie TL, Alcaraz JE, et al. The effects of a 2−year physical education program (SPARK) on physical activity and fitness in elementary school students: Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids. Am J Public Health 1997; 87 (8): 1328–33PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Janzen H, Halas J, Dixon S, et al. The quality of physical education in Manitoba schools: a three year study. Phys Health Educ J 2003; 69 (2): 44Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mandigo JL, Spence JC, Thompson LP, et al. What’s going on in physical education classes? An Alberta example. Avante 2004; 10 (1): 1–15Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bailey R. Physical education and sport in schools: a review of benefits and outcomes. J Sch Health 2006 Oct; 76 (8): 397–401Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pate RR, Hohn RC. A contemporary mission for physical education. In: Pate RR, Hohn RC, editors. Health and fitness through physical education. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics, 1994Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Corbin BC, Pangrazi RP. Physical activity guidelines: appropriate physical activity for children. Reston (VA): National Association for Sport and Physical Education, 1998Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fairclough S, Stratton G, Baldwin G. The contribution of secondary school physical education to lifetime physical activity. Eur Phys Educ Rev 2002; 8 (1): 69–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kirk D. Physical education, youth sport and lifelong participation: the importance of early learning experiences. Eur Phys Educ Rev 2005; 11 (3): 239–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Trudeau F, Laurencelle L, Shephard RJ. Tracking of physical activity from childhood to adulthood. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2004; 36 (11): 1937–43PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tammelin T, Nayha S, Hills AP, et al. Adolescent participation in sports and adult physical activity. Am J Prev Med 2003 Jan; 24 (1): 22–8Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kraut AS, Melamed S, Gofer D, et al. Effect of school age sports on leisure time physical activity in adults: the CORDIS study. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2003; 35 (12): 2038–42PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Alves JGB, Montenegro FMU, Oliveira FA, et al. The practice of sports during adolescence and physical recreational activities during adulthood. Rev Bras Med Esporte 2005; 11 (5): 291–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Shephard RJ, Lavallée H, Larivière G. Competitive selection among age—class ice—hockey players. Br J Sports Med 1978; 12: 11–3PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Taylor WC, Blair SN, Cummings SS, et al. Childhood and adolescent physical activity patterns and adult physical activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999; 31: 118–23PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pühse U, Gerber W, editors. International comparison of physical education. Oxford: Meyer & Meyer, 2005: 719Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Strong WB, Malina RM, Blimkie CJ, et al. Evidence based physical activity for school—age youth. J Pediatr 2005 Jun; 146 (6): 732–7Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Trudeau F, Laurencelle L, Tremblay J, et al. Follow—up of the Trois—Rivières Growth and Development longitudinal study. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1998; 10: 368–77Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Trudeau F, Laurencelle L, Tremblay J, et al. Daily primary school physical education: effects on physical activity during adult life. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999; 31: 111–7PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Shephard RJ, Lavallée H. Impact of enhanced physical education in the prepubescent child: Trois Rivières revisited. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1993; 5: 177–89Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Shephard RJ, Lavallée H. Impact of enhanced physical education on muscle strength in the prepubescent child: Trois Rivières revisited. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1994; 6: 75–87Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Shephard RJ, Lavallée H. Changes of physical performance as indicators of the response to enhanced physical education. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1994; 34: 323–35PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Shephard RJ. Long—term studies of physical activity in children: the Trois—Rivières experience. In: Binkhorst RA, Kemper HCG, Saris WHM, editors. Children and exercise XI. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics, 1985: 252–9Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Trudeau F, Shephard RJ. Contributions of school programmes to physical activity levels and attitudes in children and adults. Sports Med 2005; 35: 89–106PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Shephard RJ, Trudeau F. Legacy of physical education: long term and short term effects. Ped Exerc Sci 2000; 12: 34–50Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Thompson AM, Humbert ML, Mirwald RL. A longitudinal study of the impact of childhood and adolescent physical activity experiences on adult physical activity perceptions and behaviors. Qual Health Res 2003; 13: 358–77PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Van Wersch A, Trew K, Turner I. Post—primary school pupil’s interest in physical education: age and gender differences. Br J Educ Psychol 1992; 62 (Pt 1): 56–72PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Anderssen N. Perception of physical education classes among young adolescents: do physical education classes provide equal opportunities to all students? Health Educ Res 1993; 8: 167–79PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Birtwistle GE, Brodie DA. Children’s attitudes towards activity and perceptions of physical education. Health Educ Res 1991; 6: 465–78PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Trudeau F, Espindola R, Laurencelle L, et al. Follow—up of participants in the Trois—Rivières growth and development study: examining their health—related fitness and risk factors as adults. Am J Hum Biol 2000; 12: 207–13PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Menschik D, Ahmed S, Alexander MH, et al. Adolescent physical activities as predictors of young adult weight. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2008; 162 (1): 29–33PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Glenmark B. Skeletal muscle fibre types, physical performance, physical activity and attitude to physical activity in women and men: a follow—up from age 16 to 27. Acta Physiol Scand Suppl 1994; 623: 1–47PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Telama R, Yang X, Laakso L, et al. Physical activity in childhood and adolescence as predictor of physical activity young adulthood. Am J Prev Med 1997 Jul-Aug; 13 (4): 317–23Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Green K. Physical education: lifelong participation and the ‘Couch Potato Society’. Phys Educ Sport Pedag 2004; 9: 73–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Shephard RJ. Curricular physical activity and academic performance. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1997; 9 (2): 113–26Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Coleman JS. The adolescent society: the social life of the teenager and its impact on education. New York: Free Press, 1961Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Marshall J, Hardman K. The state and status of physical education in schools in international context. Eur Phys Educ Rev 2000; 6: 203–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Carrel AL, Clark RR, Peterson S, et al. School—based fitness changes are lost during the summer vacation. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2007; 61 (6): 561–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Quebec Ministry of Education. Quebec Education Program. Physical education and health. Government of Quebec, 2001 [online]. Available from URL: (http://www.mels.gouv.qc.ca/DGFJ/dp/programme_de_formation/primaire/pdf/educprg2001/educprg2001-010.pdf) [Accessed 2008 Jan 29]Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Activity SciencesUniversité du Québec à Trois—RivièresTrois—RivièresCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Physical and Health EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations