By Cristina Sala
The subject of Physical Education helps us improve our social skills and school performance
Most of us take the time of Physical Education as an opportunity to leave the books for a while and have fun with our classmates. But, in fact, it could be one of the subjects that has more impact on our life.
Teachers, educators, doctors and sports experts do not tire of repeating the benefits of physical activity for health. And what has happened is that sedentary lifestyle (lack of physical exercise) has become an epidemic in Europe: it is estimated that some 210 million Europeans do practically no physical activity.
Experts point out that school is the key to changing this reality. To promote a healthy and active lifestyle among young children the Rafa Nadal Foundation has been promoting education and sports projects for children and young people since 2009.
Maria Francisca Perelló, Director of Projects of the Foundation, stresses that “the first years of life are decisive in the development of physical skills and the introduction of healthy life style habits”, as well as being a key moment in the development of character in young children.
— Fundación Rafa Nadal (@frnadal) February 3, 2017
And the benefits of physical activity go far beyond health. The subject of Physical Education not only makes us practice sports, but also helps us to improve our social skills and even get better grades!
Sports and values
“During sports emotions, conflicts, situations for and against occur… All of them lead us to the need to learn to manage our attitude and feelings”, explains Eunate Gómez, Director of the Rafa Nadal Foundation Center in Mallorca.
Sport is one of the best tools we have to develop our psychological and social skills. According to Gómez, “ by playing with and competing against our peers, we acquire values such as effort, self-improvement, companionship and teamwork”.
Thanks to sports, we evolve on a personal level, we improve our ability to relate to others, we increase our confidence in ourselves and we learn to deal with both victory and defeat.
Gràcies a l’esport, evolucionem a nivell personal, millorem la nostra capacitat de relacionar-nos amb la resta, augmentem la confiança en nosaltres mateixos i aprenem a lidiar tant amb la victòria com amb la derrota.
Does Physical Education improve school performance?
In addition to the physical and psychological benefits, many researchers claim that sports also improves our school performance. That is, Physical Education could help us get better grades in all other subjects.
According to a study by the Miguel Hernández University of Elche, cognitive functions– such as attention, memory or the ability to select relevant information- improve after practicing sports. Eduardo Cervelló, one of the researchers, who participated in the study, explained that the cognitive benefits of sports are usually underestimated.
“Perhaps Physical Education class should be had before math”, states Cervelló. Who knows, maybe we should run a little before each exam!