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The Contender
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10 Points

Physical Education should be taught differently than it currently is.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2010 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,225 times Debate No: 12113
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)




Physical Education is a fantastic idea. Improving the health and fitness of individuals is absolutely vital to their overall personal success in the world. However, the methods used to teach Physical Education in High Schools have made the class worthless. Those that are already fit and in shape are those that participate in physical education. However, those that vitally need exercise and good nutrition often do not participate. The New York Times recently reported that Murray High School in Provo, Utah recently had PE teachers bribed by students to exempt from Physical Education. I propose:
1. There be a 'fitness log' requiring students to cardio and muscular exercise X minutes a week for at least four times a week. Granted, there will be excessive cheating and lying. However, there will be a significant increase in those participating. Many band and orchestra classes require similar sheets called 'practice logs'. For the past twenty five years without exception, each band or orchestra winning state required a practice log. This attests to its effectiveness.
2. Physical Education teachers become stricter concerning participation. Currently, kids that loaf around and half exercise often have an 'A' in PE. PE teachers should only give students 'A's if the student completely, 100% participates in PE and complete practice logs.


I agree with my opponent on the fact that physical education is a good idea and improves the health of the individuals that participate. However, they assume that only fit people participate in PE classes. While this may be generally true, there are some people, while they may not be fit, they still do their best in gym classes.

Having mandatory physical education classes where students are forced into running laps and doing countless exercises is a violation to student rights. I do not believe that students should have mandatory PE but I do believe that all students should be EDUCATED on health, diet, exercise, and all of the things that amount up to a "healthy" person. I also think that the school should provide opportunities for students to exercise every day since daily exercise is considered the goal for people to be fit. I think that forcing students into taking PE is not right because, while what we have found to be generally the healthy standard for most people, may not apply to all students. Maybe there is a student who has a healthy diet, has a proper BMI and is completely healthy without exercise. Or maybe there are students who do not want to do the types of exercises that the school mandates they do and they might have exercises that work better for them. A mandated exercise routine may not be in the best interest for all students, and therefore, they should have a choice on whether they wish to participate in PE classes or not, while being educated on what is and what isn't healthy is very necessary and should be focused on instead. Defining the "healthy" person and then requiring students to live to that standard is bordering on discrimination against other body types and is unjust.

1. Fitness Logs
Off of I stated previously, a fitness log would not be the way to take physical education as working out for a certain amount of time and in certain exercises would not meet the wants and needs of all of the students. Maybe a certain exercise routine works better than another. The students would not be able to do their preferred routine in a fitness log since they would be mandated into doing a school-required routine.

2. Increased discipline on participation
The school has no right to determine what works best for all of the students, and they cannot expect all of them to participate if they believe that a different exercise routine would work better for them, they do not wish to exercise at all, or they are just not capable of doing the exercises. Having an A or an F in PE would not make any one student more or less fit either. A student may not wish to do the muscular exercises that the class is doing because they do not want their body to become bulky and muscular because they don't think muscles will be of any value to them. The same goes for cardio-vascular exercise as well and for all exercise in general. The school should focus on educating the students on what is generally best for them and what they recommend they do. If exercise is not an asset to the student, then having PE classes is simply a waste of their time.

If a student wants exercise, it should be their own responsibility to get it. A person can be completely fit off of home exercises that do not require gym equipment. If a student wants special fitness education such as swimming or gymnastics, that is also their responsibility. Schools often don't have the equipment for those types of things. If a student is refusing to exercise, then it is up to the parents to define their body as not fit and sign them up for exercise rather than the school. Then again, if a student wishes to be obese or wishes to be skinny and have no muscles, then that is purely their choice. Attempting to make PE more "effective" would only strain the students who do not wish to do those exercises more and more, adding to the overall discontent with fitness classes. If we teach students what makes them healthy instead and leave it up to them to make their own choice to follow through with anything they want to do, then we would avoid those problems.
Debate Round No. 1


My opponent primarily brings up the concern concerning a student's freedom of choice within education. However, education as a whole is mandatory. There is no choice involved. Any classroom or education has a required amount of work a student may or may not do. Is it a violation of student rights to be required to do their Algebra homework when they, in fact, detest the work and have no desire to do the work at all? The flaw in my opponents opinion, with all due respect, is that if students only did what they wanted to do the education system would fail entirely. In fact, the physical education system has failed entirely. Just look at the evidence:
1. One third of all children born in 2000 are expected to develop diabetes in their lifetimes. (Task Force on Obesity)
2. More than a quarter of all Americans 17 to 24 are unqualified for military service because they are overweight.
3. About one in three, 31.7 percent of children 2 to 19 years old are now overweight or obese.

Read more:
Simply teaching a child to be fit and healthy is not adequate or effective. They must be required to be fit and healthy. Whether or not the child believes the exercise will be valuable to them does not change the incredible importance and value of exercise and a healthy diet. Granted, no system can be perfect. However, our current Physical Education System can be perfected. My opponent brings up a good point: everyone has a different style and a different methods of effective exercise unique to them self. A modification to exercise logs could be several different variations of exercise logs. One exercise log could focus on lifting weights as a primary form of muscular development while another could focus on swimming for that method. These would be based on the child's individual interests, body type, exercise preferences, etc. However, each exercise log must require the child to exercise both through cardio and muscular methods. Furthermore, I would like to include a diet log based on the same ideals and functions as the exercise log.
The essentials of education require students to commit to tasks they may or may not wish to do. Why do this? Because it is for both the students' own good and the good of the society in which they live. Healthy exercise is benifical to a society because it increases the students' health and therefore ability to work and function properly. By educating children concerning physical health in a constructive yet firm manner we will sculpt a happier and healthier generation and for generations to come.


Physical education as a whole, is actually not required in some states. Colorado is a state where only 20% of schools have PE offered, and yet is the thinnest state in the entire country. While, Mississippi, being the fattest, has required PE in grades K-8. [1 and 2] Florida is also one of the happiest states in the country and also has absolutely no PE requirements. [3] Florida also only has an obese population of 23.5 percent and is a relatively thin state in the country compared to Mississippi having an obese population of 31.5 and then Colorado which has an obese population of 18. [2] There are several conclusions we can draw from these statistics:

1. The lack of PE education in Colorado drives students to be physically active on their own, instead of the boring, stressful and awkward gym environments provided at schools.
2. Strict PE requirements leave kids in gym classes that turn them off from the idea of being physically fit and healthy since they are quite strenuous, fatiguing and an overall annoyance to the students. This leads them to become fatter and fatter until they eventually form the fattest state in the country; Mississippi.
3. The lack of PE makes citizens happier! Not being required to take PE in schools and being physically fit on your very own way that may be incredibly easier than the schools way lifts mountains of stress off of people and leaves them inspired on their own to be fit.

There is no exact violation to student rights in the assigning of homework, but there are detrimental psychological affects to homework. People all need what psychologists call "consolidation" which is the time away from work when new things are learned when the brain processes new information and gets a good grasp over it. If students have a daily 30 minute required exercise margin along with their hour or so of homework, all piled on top of any extracurricular activities they may be enrolled in, it leave them little to no consolidation time for their brain to process the new information and understand it. The fact that now even MORE homework would be piled onto kids would lead to less understanding and comprehension in newly learned topics, lower test scores, lower general grades, and may not even sufficiently provide for the health of the students. There are NO gains at all in mandating at-home physical activity along with the daily classes provided in schools.

My opponent presents statistics along with the conclusion that the PE system is currently failing. This is not true. If it were completely failing as he states, then we would have no fit people at all. Obviously it is still teaching between 69 and 75% of the population to be physically fit and does still have a generally good success rate. A 75% in school terms is a C, or average, which really isn't all that bad. Except my statistics show that increasing the mandates on PE discourages students from being fit and leaves a much lower success rate while leaving them to do it on their own and with much less force yields higher results in overall fitness.

When my opponent states that teaching them health exclusively is not affective, my statistics prove otherwise and this is simply not the case. Secondly, a requirement to be fit and healthy as my opponent proposes would actually be a form of body size discrimination and is completely unjust. Why can't a person be extremely thin and have very few muscles and be incapable of continued exercise? Why is it wrong for a person to have received a gene that gives them a low metabolism and so makes them incapable of losing weight easily? It is a person's one choice (for the most part) at what their goal is for their bodily appearance. Having an imposed standard would be discrimination and would be morally wrong. What is wrong with being "too thin" or "too fat"? It is that persons own body and they have their right to it. My opponents proposition still fails to conform to the rights and individual choices of a person while still proving to be an ineffective form of PE. It will also fail to conform to people's bodily decisions and preferences until there is an option for no exercise like we have in our current system.

A Diet log also faces the same critical flaws, except in a higher degree. Socialism is any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. [4] This diet plan would have to be imposed throughout the country and would involve laws and therefore would be political, and so this proposed "diet plan" is actually socialism. Certain diets only work for small amounts of certain people and there is absolutely no good way of finding a diet for a certain student. They may want something, but the diet does something else. None of the diets may be effective, leaving them hopelessly failing PE. This is riddled with failure and people find many more failure stories in dieting than success stories. There could be no standards to this at all as every plan would be distinctly different and yield completely different results and therefore could not be graded either. Besides, what happened to the individual right to choose which type of salad you want to eat?!?!

Exercise is beneficial, but only in certain ways and to certain people. There can not be a mandated plan for exercise because it will result in failures for some people and make many people extremely upset. It will also frustrate them and leave them less time for academics and result in lower test scores and overly stressed students. The fact is too, the people who are allowed to individually exercise yield much better results and are much happier persons than those who are forced into a laboriously slave-like gym class all for the sake of fitness, which causes a lack of morale in health because it shows an extremely strenuous side of it, and also yields much less success and happiness than individual fitness. Health rests within the individual, and it cannot be standardized because it simply won't work.

Debate Round No. 2


Avatar7777777 forfeited this round.


PRO forfeited the round, please extend my arguments. Have a good Memorial Day everyone!
Debate Round No. 3


Sorry I had to forfeit round 3, I was in the Appalachian for a week...Anyways....

1. My opponent claims that 'Kids have less and less time to be able to 'consolidate', or process information. If PE gives more homework than kids will have nearly no time to consolidate. The public school system will fall further' However, evidence proves that:
- Kids who are more physically active tend to perform better academically.
- Eight health surveys involving population-representative
samples of children and adolescents from the United States,15-17
United Kingdom,18-20 Hong Kong21 and Australia22 observed
statistically significant positive correlations between physical
activity participation and academic performance.
-A national study conducted in 2006 analyzed data collected from 11,957 adolescent randomly chosen the U.S. To examine the relationship between physical activity and academic performance. Adolescents who reported either participating in school activities, such as PE and team sports, or playing sports with their parents, were 20 percent more likely than their sedentary peers to earn an "A" in math or English.17
-Time Management expert and author of the best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly effective people, Steven Covey, states that the average teenager spends nearly 21 hours a week on TV, video games, etc. That averages out to be three hours a day. An hour or so a day may be a debatable good relaxation time, but three hours is undeniably a waste of time.

2. My opponent claims P.E. Is not failing because there are a decent amount of fit people in the world (75%)
-Childhood obesity is over 50%. If you are on a standard grading scale, under 50% in a grade is a terrifyingly low 'F'
-Even if it were hypothetically 75%, a 'C' averages out to a 2.0 GPA. No good College will accept a student with a 2.0 GPA. My opponent, with all due respect, feels a 2.0 GPA is acceptable in the arena of physical fitness. America is equal to a mediocre community college in terms of physical health.

3. My opponent accuses me of being discriminatory towards certain body types. Required physical fitness is discriminatory to one's body type and personal choice concerning appearance. Furthermore, this includes dieting logs under the same logic. Furthermore, he has directly and indirectly claimed dieting and exercise to inevitably fail for certain body types.
- There are three major body types : Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mesomorph. There are specific weights, exercise methods, dieting methods, etc. For each type. However, ALL types require physical exercise and nutrients. If my opponent would deny this fact, I have the statistics to prove the facts correct. However, I believe it is obvious that everyone requires physical exercise for maximum health benefits. My fitness logs and diet are adjusted to different body types so they can reach their maximum physical and health potential.

4. My opponent accuses me of advocating socialism through diet logs. However, diet logs never excluded one type of food or another, they only require a healthy balance of food. If the diet logs succeed to an extreme, food companies may compete with one another, to an even greater degree than they do now, to produce healthful food products. Competition, by definition, is an important and vital aspect of capitalism, not socialism. Furthermore, I do not exclude unhealthy foods from diet, but advocate a lessening amount of them. I also anticipate the degree of cheating that will be on the diet logs. I never claimed the diet logs to be perfect, but only to improve health.

5. My opponent further claims that the lack of PE leaves time for students to be Physically Healthy on their own. However, school systems require students to be at school for a certain amount of hours a day. If their time is not consumed with physical activity, it will be consumed with rigorous academic work. As previously proven, this is not good for either the student or the education system. It will further prevent them from further physical activity. For many people, physical activity is the 'consolidation' my opponent has proven people need.

6. My opponent has further assumed that his statistics lead to proving that Physical Education drives students to participate in physical activity less. I have further looked over his statistics and there are, with all due respect, to many holes and assumptions to take his argument seriously. For example, we do not know when the two statistics leading him to this conclusion, and, were made. They could have been created three years ago, allowing things to drastically change. Or they could have been created three years within each other, giving no real correlation between the statistics due to possible change in time. A second example is my opponent further assumes that physical education is the reason why Colorado and Mississippi have such a drastic difference in their quality of health. He ignores other factors, such as the fact people from Mississippi have a less healthy diet than those in Colorado, especially due to fried foods. There are many other examples, but for now, the argument can sufficiently give two.

7. My opponent also claims that 'Strict PE requirements leave kids in gym classes that turn them off from the idea of being physically fit and healthy since they are quite strenuous, fatiguing and an overall annoyance to the students. This leads them to become fatter and fatter'. However, successful physical fitness is meant to be strenuous at times. Health experts, such as Dr. Oz, agree that, although gradual increases in strenuousness are necessary, easy physical exercise gets people nearly nowhere. A muscle, when exercised, is meant to be strained. If it is not it can not break down and therefore become stronger. If kids' physical exercise is not strenuous, it explains why obesity rates are so high and why it is so vital for strenuous exercise to become a requirement.

8. My opponent further claims that it is good for people to decide whether or not they exercise or eat properly. Although this has been previously addressed in previous rounds, I will address it again. There is an undeniably vital connection between health and happiness. If my opponent denies, I will be glad to bring out the evidence. A necessary part of health is both exercise and proper dieting based on the individual's body type. Reforming the education system will increase both health and happiness. It is vital for a happy and healthy generation to reform the Physical Education System.

National Association for Sport and Physical
Education and American Heart Association. 2006
shape of the nation report: Status of physical
education in the USA. Reston, VA: National
Association for Sport and Physical Education; 2006.


1. First off, the "facts" my opponent uses would not apply to a society where physical activity is imposed on people since that has not been studied and is not the case right now so can not be studied presently. It's an unfortunate even that those studies hadn't taken place during the slavery period of U.S. history since that would be imposed physical activity... just a form that was extremely profitable to a slaveholder. There is an increased academic performance in students who are musically active but do we force them to play their instruments or sing out of school for certain times daily? Do we even force them to take the classes? No. Plenty of students are good academically and not active, and having much much more PE might not necessarily increase these benefits, so they do not apply.

2. My opponent states that childhood obesity is over 50% and that is actually a false statistic. The CDC states that only 17% of children between 2 and 19 are obese, this 50% is completely and blatantly a made-up number.[1] Additionally, America is not a perfect country. We aren't even close to the best in so many other fields, if my opponent is worried about us only being average in terms of physical health, aren't there bigger issues overhead? What about our placement in the global economy? Or the fact that we really don't care that much about our environment? No, we're going to focus on changing our "C" in health rather than fix our economy and the pollution.

3. If physical fitness REQUIRES discrimination, then why should it be imposed? That draws parallels to the segregation of blacks and whites in the sense that the obese or overweight people are less than the skinny people. Why would anyone WANT governmentally enforced and lawfully imposed discrimination against any group of people?! How could anyone support anything like that? Especially if that person is CONTENT with their body weight and does not wish to change it but it is wrong in my opponent's eyes, the plan PRO suggests is discrimination and would be something that some people just wouldn't want. How would you feel if someone MADE you dye your hair if they thought that your hair color was the wrong color?

4. The truth is about the diet logs is that if they were imposed by the government, it would be the exact definition of socialism. It is a persons choice when it comes to their diets. If we imposed a certain way of eating, it not only be completely dissatisfying to the common person, but ruin industries in snack foods, and damage economies. Did you want that chocolate? I'm sorry, you can't have it! It goes against your government standardized diet log. Here, have a luscious brussel sprout instead!

5. I press my opponent to state what exactly is wrong with having a physical fitness plan on your own? What exactly is the problem with being under or over the recommended body weight? What if the individual feels comfortable that way and it is the way that they want to look? And what happens to the people that the fitness programs stress out? Now they're doing WORSE in their school work but all for the sake of fitness right?! The weight discrimination sure can't help either. When there is such a high standard for people's appearance, and quite a few people feel uncomfortable with their weight, a system based on weight discrimination will cause lower self-esteem, a lack of self-worth, a feeling that one is "ugly" and a rise in suicide and suicide attempts, as all discrimination causes. We could expect a LACK of good school work since there will be students stressed from exercise and ones feeling put-down from the discrimination the plan advocates.

6. The first argument given by my opponent is speculation. The second source was made in 2008 and the first was from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education which is an extremely credible source and we can assume it is recent and close in date to the first source. Therefore it is plausible that there is a correlation in these statistics and PRO has no argument here. As for the diet, it should still be left up to an individuals choice, but a better plan for the health of the people would be to reward companies who offer foods for sale that are healthy rather than full of chemicals and hormones. Yet, as the foods you eat are your own choice, my opponents point regarding diet doesn't exactly apply here since the people are CHOOSING to eat those fried foods and the people of Colorado just eat better. There is always that McDonalds right down the street, and then there's always the choice of something organic and healthy.

7. While fitness programs can be strenuous, the problem is, what if the students don't want to participate in such an activity? What if it would not lead to their goal for fitness and appearance? This entire plan disregards the individuals opinion and would not satisfy anyone since it quite frankly doesn't CARE what they think. Maybe they just don't wish to have muscles? Why would they exercise in a strenuous way if that's not their goal or they don't think it's worth it? Again, bodily discrimination is what is being advocated in this plan for fitness, the goal being an extremely biased and hateful society that shuns the obese people to the point of violence over the number they get when they step on the scale. Petty, isnt it?

8. While healthy can sometimes increase a person's happiness, imposed fitness plans are not the way to be healthy and will only stress people out. There is an even more significant correlation between free will and happiness. Unfortunately, to be healthy, you lose free will. Free will provides more happiness than health, so overall in a fitness-imposed society, the people would be less happy, healthy, but slaves to the government over that health. The slaves of America definitely got plenty of exercise, but were they happy? No, they had no free will, how could they be?!

Debate Round No. 4


My opponent has made various arguents against me, but they can be boiled down into several catigories

1. Health Logs required exersice nutrition are a violation on students' rights because they have a right to choose to be unhealthy if they desire to be so or if health is a low factor on their priority list.
2. My health logs have not been tested and cannot be tested because we don't know if they will work
3. Health is sufficent in its state, there is no need to improve health when there are greater, more important issues to wory about, such as the economy and the enviorment
4. I am being discriminatory to other body types by requiring them to eat nutritious foods and exersise. People may be content with being unhealthy. A larger body automatically means you are less heathy; healthy weight is the same for every body type.
5. Requiring student's to eat various healthy foods in a balanced diet is socialist because they cannot eat excessive junk food.
6. The stress due to required improvement in health will cause students to do worse in school
7. Fitness Logs are made to look buff and sexy, not to be healthy and fit; it is based to improve the opinions of others.

1. The school system ideally is a system to educate students in improving their lifestyles and conditions. It is a key to becoming happier, healthier, etc. Physical Health is a nessisary part of a happy lifestyle. If my opponent denies this I hope he can argue that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a disease, resulting from a lack of cardio exercise, a disease that eats up the lungs, and a disease that causes intense pain until one may eventually die from it, can be ignored and one can have it while acheiving maximum fullfillment and happiness in this world. COPD is only one example of the literally hundreds or thousands of diseases resulting from a lack of nutrition and exercise. Not exercising is very similar to slacking off in education in the sense that you may not feel the effects now, but is devistating later in life. Although the exersice may be required, the student will not be thrown in prison or fined if they do not follow the logs. They may have a lower GPA, but that's what happens when you slack off in any class at school. You may get tough love from teachers and parents encouraging you to do your best, but that's also what happens when you are getting a 'C' in Algebra. You will not be forced, but you will be strongly encouraged. Although the student may not wish to exercise or do his Algebra homework, it is what is best for them and it will pay off in the end.
2. American Democracy was an untested experiment when the founding fathers invented it. However, they did not think 'this has never been completely tested, so we'll keep a Monarchy, since that has been tested and seems to work out fairly well.' They set their ideals into action, and they worked. They called on other political experements to support their theory which turned into a total success. While my theory has not been completly tested, I have drawn on sources that have worked in the past that strongly support my idea. It may very well work
3. This is a priority issue: my opponent considers health less important government function as the enviorment and economics, while I consider equally important. However, this experiment holds very little cost, very little sacrifice for the current school system, and results in drastic improvement In fact, my idea may give natrual, inexpensive 'health care' for all Americans, causing the US to spend far less in time and money health care and far more in issues such as the enviorment and the economy.
4. My health logs are created to improve the full health potential of the individual student. They require daily exercise and nutrition. They do not require weight to be at a certain level or muscles to be so big. Instead, they require the student to actively improve his or her health. This will result in gaining the maximum health potential the student has. As previously stated, while individuals may be satisfied with mediocure health, they will undoubltedly regret their decisions in the long run. A larger body type does not automatically mean an unhealthy body type. It actually could mean a more healthy person depending on the body type of the individual. The mesmorph body type may have a large fraim when it is in healthy condition. A healthy weight varries from person to person and body type to body type. People may have different health potentials, but each person has the potential to reach his or her maximum health potential, which is the goal of fitness logs.
5. Companies may very well compete in making more healthy foods due to this plan, as previously stated. There will still be competition, just slightly different. Furthermore, junk food will not be required to be eliminated, just reduced. Students will not be fined or imprisoned for not following health logs, they will simply have a lower GPA similar to that of slacking off on Algebra homework. Furthermore, I anticipate cheating, so there will be some things that will 'slide' here and there. I never claimed the logs would be a perfect fix, but would improve or drastically improve national health.
6. As already proven in a previous round, physical exersice often improves grades of those that take advantage of it. There will be more homework, but it will not be any different than giving out Algebra or World History Homework. Furthermore, endorphines, a chemical released while exercising, increase the ability to relax. Exersice, in the long run, increases relaxation as opposed to incresing stress.
7. The fitness logs have nothing to do with being buff or sexy. They have to do with improving the individual's maximum potential for fitness and health.


LLAMA forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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Posted by LLAMA 7 years ago
Exactly, but which is the proper way? Independent fitness, or mandatory, standardized and governmentally imposed fitness?
Posted by Rakiela 7 years ago
definetly , if it was tort properly children would not be so un fit !
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