Force feeding activity: Why physical activity should not be required


Jackson Schou

Nate Martell grudgingly participates in gym by running the pacer test.

Jackson Schou, Copy Editor

Although Physical Education is supposed to provide a break from the rest of the school day, it has become a time which students dread. 

Gym used to be an escape from the rest of the academic school day, but it has now turned into a chore. With numerous standards put in place, gym has become a tedious challenge to earn points. Many students have to cheat their heart rate monitors or do something they strongly dislike in order to pass the class. These are just a couple of the reasons gym should not be required. 

There is nothing wrong with a friendly game of dodgeball or capture the flag; many students, in fact, enjoy playing games such as these. However, when students are forced to complete activities, rather than doing them on their own, the task becomes far less enjoyable.

Students of high school age are old enough to make lifestyle decisions on their own. Senior Owen Hawkins strongly supports the making gym an optional class. “The majority of people are able to make decisions for themselves. If they want to take gym they can, but forcing it does nothing when people refuse to even walk around,” he said. 

Gym also keeps students from taking other classes that they would prefer to take. Since gym takes up an entire period during the day, that period could be used for more academic classes; whether that class is a language, more core classes or engineering classes, having to take gym restricts students from having the schedule they want. 

Some avid musicians wish to take band, choir, and orchestra; sophomore Erika Holmberg is one of these students. “I was required to drop one of my musical classes this year in order to take another required academic class. If gym weren’t required, I would be able to take classes that better fit my future and career,” she said. 

Instead of a required class, gym should be a playground of sorts for students to release tension or relax whenever they want. Students could have time to go play a game of basketball or frisbee and actually enjoy themselves while doing it. 

Numerous students are also very active outside school. Many play sports or have jobs which keep them active; others live naturally healthy lifestyles. Gym takes away from the enjoyment of playing a game with friends or having a break from the day, and students are old enough to decide whether or not they want to be active.