The Development of Physical Health in Educational Settings


Physical health has always been an essential part of human being. A healthy man is a mentally and physically strong person. In order to reach this kind of harmony it s important to keep fit from little up. Although not every parent devotes enough attention to this sphere of children’s development, physical activity is the prior thing for teachers of physical education. Children need guidance in everything until they reach maturity including physical training in order to execute moves and other physical activity tasks correctly. Yet, physical activity is important as per many aspects of students’ development. Therefore, let me introduce the main aspects of the domain of physical development and how these relate to educational settings.

Importance of Physical Activity

Physical exercises are the activity implemented by a person in order to enhance health or overall fitness. As per children of the age of five, they are usually involved in physical activity throughout the day via playing. It is claimed that active play has a remarkable impact on children’s health and their future generations. Physical activity itself is wonderful for every age, though children of five-years-old get the most advantage out of it. Their muscles and cardiovascular system are being strengthened immensely, besides they enjoy it, which plays significant role as psychological state is not of less importance. At the stage of 5-9 years children undergo enormous challenge of immunity, whereas sports help boost the immune system.

Active Play and Social Development

Needless to say kinds are fond of various kinds of sports when at age of five through nine. It is a great development stage for them in terms of physical health and social cognition. When playing a child learns this world’s rules, namely participating in physical contests activities gives much experience. Such involvement in social groups is very important for kids’ development firstly, because they learn to behave and secondly, because they are the ones to make future society. Nowadays, the aftermath of lack of physical activity is explicitly seen in escalating rate of health problems among kids of 5 – 9 years old. “Public health interventions should target children at the preschool age where factors responsible for weight gain are likely to be found in the family and the home then at school environment.” (Home and Community Care Digest, 2011) , therefore social development is directly dependent on the way parents and teachers look after their kids.

Cognitive Development

One of the key factors within which the physical activity is important for kids of 5-9 years is cognitive development. While children are interacting with each other in different physical activities they undergo various intellectual or mental changes. The process of adopting or adjusting to other personalities rather than own parents is meant here.

Emotional Development

Physical activity is important for the age group chosen is because emotional factor is a great part of a personality building. Physical activities of different kinds may develop personal traits of a child, which is vitally important not only for physical training activities but for overall studies, too. A person of 5-9 years is not a complete personality; therefore formation of certain personal traits is vitally important during physical activities.


Although caregivers are ones responsible for children’s diet and daily ration, still a lot of children are overweight. Moreover, many children get nonnutritious foods, whereas the outcomes are serious sometimes, among those is obesity. Many children of 5-9 years tend to refuse to eat breakfasts which highly important for the overall learning and physical activities. However, “healthy eating and active play in childhood can guide a lifetime of good eating and physical activity habits” (Early Childhood Australia, 2009). Obesity has reached catastrophic number for the past several decades: “ For example, a survey of 16 and 17 year old Western Australian school students found that over 40% say that one of the reasons they drink is to get drunk.” (McDevitt, 2010, p. 168)

Teacher’s Role in Preventing Obesity

Obesity is a serious problem that adolescents, teenagers, and children experience nowadays. It may lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. Teachers interact with students every day and hence have a great opportunity to influence and help address obesity. One of the methods is making a student aware of what a healthy way of life is and what the risk health factors are. (Tremblay, 2003.) Besides, when speaking about the age groups of 5-9 years it is important to note that kids need a role model, which is frequently presented by a teacher. Being model for a child means easily coping with influencing the child’s health habits. Teachers are able to modify the curriculum and make it well-designed in order to “promote physical activity, healthy eating, and reductions in television viewing time” (Howell, 2004). Teachers’ role is essential for over 95 percent of children and teenagers go to schools. (Hills, 2005.) So, since “ there is … an imperative to adopt population-based measures and individual treatments to reduce current levels of obesity and its health effects”, (Australian Medical Association, 2009) then teachers play a huge role in their students’ lives when promoting a healthy way of life because physical education and nutrition programs are closely connected to academic success.

Three Ways to Address and/or Prevent Obesity

One of the first things to do would be addressing physical activity through a Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP). This program includes eight important components that make it possible to address obesity efficiently; among those is health promotion for staff, healthy school environment, nutrition services, etc.

As a teacher I would address the model of personal behavior. Needless to say it is important to show the kids of 5-9 years what means personal care rather than plain talking because this is one of the most appropriate and relevant methods to convey principles to children of this age group. Once they find you as a leader, you win the stage and start filling their heads with useful information. (Department of Health and Ageing, 2004)

A teacher has to see what the needs of a student are. This entails proper understanding and setting the goals for each student personally. This can serve as criteria when addressing obesity through personal competition. Of course, most students take physical activities as tortures, though once they see the results this encourages children to go on.


Obesity is merely an epidemic nowadays. The rates have increased rapidly for the past several decades. Of course, parents are the ones to shape child’s eating and physical activity habits, tough the role of schools and teachers are frequently underestimated. As such, I am glad to have an opportunity to make difference for children within school physical education programs as a teacher.


Australian Medical Association. (2009). Obesity – 2009

Department of Health and Ageing (2004), Australia’s Physical Activity Recommendations for 12-18 year olds, Canberra. Web.

Early Childhood Australia. (2009). Healthy eating and physical activity guidelines for early childhood settings. Web.

Hills, A., & Parizkova, J. (2005).Childhood obesity; prevention and treatment. New York: CRC Press.

Home and Community Care Digest. (2011). Weight Gain at Five Years of Age Contributes to Childhood Obesity.

Howell, W., Sarah M., et al. (2004). The Role of Schools in Preventing Childhood Obesity.

McDevitt, T., & Ormrod, J. (2010). Child Development and Education. (4th ed.). New Jersey: PearsonEducation, Inc.

Tremblay, M. S., & Willms J. D. (2003) Is the Canadian childhood obesity epidemic related to physical inactivity? International Journal of Obesity; 27(9), 1100-1105.

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