P.E. should be offered; opinion-editorial

Maria Munguia, Reporter

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in every five teens, ages  12-18, suffers from at least one mental health issue. About half of all Americans with poor mental health go untreated. These issues include feeling overwhelmed, extreme stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, poor grades, loss of motivation and eventually depression.

Since poor mental health is a primary reason for low grades and poor classroom behavior, offering a P.E. class would be a productive way to resolve many of these issues. It would be beneficial for students to exercise because it improves their physical and mental health freely. Some benefits include managing stress, alleviating anxiety, improving cognitive function and enhancing sleep. 

It would be helpful to have a period where the students can exercise independently without being pressured to complete the instructed workouts or being required to play a sport to exercise. It is proven by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) that student-athletes are more susceptible to having a higher risk of mental health concerns than those who are allowed to voluntarily exercise in ways best suited to each individual. 

Every student is unique and at different levels of fitness and well-being. One way is not suitable for every student, so allowing them to work at their own pace would be more effective. With a P.E. program, the students can improve their mental and physical health, increase cognitive function and produce higher grade averages.