Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement

Essay by PathlotCollege, UndergraduateA, August 2010

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Should there be a requirement for all school systems to incorporate a physical fitness program permanently into their curriculum? Is it a surprise that "65 percent of the nation's adults are overweight or obese, and 10 percent of the population has type 2 diabetes, a preventable and ruinous disease that stems from inactivity and poor nutrition?" (Ratey & Hagerman, 2008, p. 4). There has been documented proof that exercise has a positive effect on the brain. Youth that receive elevated amounts of physical activity tend to show improved attributes such as increased brain function and nourishment, higher energy/concentration levels, changes in body build affecting self esteem, increased self-esteem and better behavior which may all support cognitive learning (Scheuer, 2003). There have been case studies that show a relationship between exercise and academic achievement. With this correlation between exercise and the brain, and exercise and academic achievement, is it worth the cost to incorporate a physical fitness program into school curriculums across the nation? Physical fitness, a physical fitness programs should be required in all schools because of the relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement.

There is a dynamic relationship that occurs between exercise and the brain. In today's technology-driven, high definition LCD-screened-in world, it is easy to forget that humans are born movers, animals in fact. Today's society has engineered movement right out of daily life. There is a pronounced relationship between food, physical activity, and learning. All three are hardwired into the brain. The dynamic relationship that occurs between exercise and the brain is being neglected because of today's engineering marvels.

It is known that, when exercising, the body has increased levels of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. Norephinephrine is the chemical that stimulates the fight or flight response in the body, giving the body sudden energy in times...