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Introduction

Physical education is a necessity for the health and well-being of every student. As a unique and essential part of the total education program, physical education can significantly enhance all aspects of development including health, physical fitness, movement knowledge, academic performance, goal setting, self-esteem, stress management, and social skills.

Evidence continues to mount that regular physical activity can prevent and manage coronary heart disease, which is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. Unfortunately, few Americans engage in regular physical activity, despite the benefits. Research findings clearly demonstrate that daily exercise, from early childhood throughout life, is a primary factor in maintaining health and enriching the quality of life. People begin to acquire and establish patterns of health-related behavior during childhood and adolescence. Schools are an efficient vehicle for providing this physical education instruction.

Although many students participate in extra-curricular athletics and these programs may meet the movement and exercise needs of the participants during their season of competition, such programs do not accommodate all students nor do they educate the students as to the importance of a daily physical education program. Therefore, we believe that physical education is an integral part of a comprehensive education and must be included on a daily basis.

Finally, it should be understood that quality physical education is predicated upon having competent, dedicated, and knowledgeable teachers who utilize appropriate instructional techniques, strategies, and assessments.

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