Get up and Move


Phoenix Patterson and Mitesh Patel run up the stairs for Personal Fitness.

One quarter, that is all the physical education that middle schools require in Ann Arbor. That is every other day for only 53 minutes for just a fourth of middle schoolers’ 6th grade year. Community only offers one physical education class, besides Dance Body, and that is Personal Fitness. Personal Fitness is only one semester and the only physical education class that is required. Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) needs to offer and require more physical education classes for the betterment of their students.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC)  recommends that children and adolescents get at least 60 minutes of exercise daily. In 2011 only 29% of high schoolers in a survey done by the CDC got that much exercise. That means in 2011 over 70% of high schoolers were not getting a sufficient amount of exercise. So the high schools, where high school students spend the majority of  their  time could help kids get this exercise.

Adolescents that exercise regularly have a much lower risk of obesity and chronic diseases such as Arthritis, Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes. They also tend to be much more psychologically healthy with lower risks of depression and anxiety.

Exercise does not only help maintain a students’ health but it also helps them academically. Exercise allows students to be more attentive and focused in class which helps boost their performance.

Schools would benefit so much from requiring more physical education; so why don’t they?

It is because today’s schools with all the budget cuts are so focused on trying to keep the schools academics that they are oblivious to the fact that physical education can be just as important. Students do not only benefit while they are in high school, but as adults too from being healthy adolescents, so requiring more physical education for students could really have a beneficial effect on them for the rest of their lives.

Community is especially lacks in this area. Community only offers one physical education class that is not required and it’s mainly for dancers. I am aware Community does not have a big gymnasium like the other high schools, but I don’t think that should be preventing us. We not only have two beautiful lawns at our disposal and a weight room, but we also have Wheeler Park right down the street.

I hope in the future Community as well as the rest of the AAPS offers and requires more physical education classes for the sake of their students health and academic performance.