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Canada’s Fitness Level And Physical Education

1305 words - 5 pages

Obesity prevalence in Canada has tripled over the last 30 years (Statistics Canada). Moreover, a recent study by the University of Manitoba by Dr. Henry Janzen has suggested that 90% of Canada’s adolescents are physically inactive. Even though, Manitoba is the only province in Canada in which physical education credits between grade 9 to grade 12 are required for graduation, the program is facing several complexities from the large class size, limited space, and specialist versus generalist teachers’ issue. Thus, physical education programs needs to be enforced and should be mandatory nationwide.
Incontrovertible, physical education programs are getting more attention in the last few years. They are the key to increase teenager’s physical activity levels. Moreover, there are many benefits in the physical education than just having fun, it sharpen overall cognitive abilities and motor skills via athletics. However, what those classes are really trying to promote is the inclusion of a regular fitness activity in our daily routine. Meanwhile, regular fitness activities are “Active living” day-to-day activities, for example, treadmill walking, bike riding and basic daily activities; that is what our parents and ancestors have been doing for most of their lives. These kinds of activities are what our students are not engaging in; rather they are more likely to engage in sedentary activities from playing video games and watching television (The University of Waterloo, 2009). This will, in the long term, increase the risk of virulent diseases such as diabetes, heart failure, hypertension, and even cancer. Despite all these facts, the physical education programs teaches many personal and social tools to the student, some of them are: confidence booster, improving physiological process like digestion, and more importantly respect and accept defeat on the game field. Arthur Ashe once said “You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself. Your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is the real joy”. However, wherever there is an advantage come a disadvantage and the physical education programs in the country are not excluded from that rule.
Although, Manitoba is at an envied status with its new credit policy, the physical education programs are facing multiple issues. Particularly, large class sizes, limited funding, heterogeneity of the student’s skill level, culturally diverse classrooms, disabilities or special needs, and student’s misbehaviour. In fact, these extra credits are affecting the student’s academic performance. However, most of these issues are connected to the teacher or the instructed himself. Considering that most urban Manitoba physical teachers are specialist, then these problems should be intangible. However, most of the rural and Aboriginal parts of Manitoba lack those teachers and include generalized and new graduate teachers. Unlike a specialist teacher, a general...

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