School gym programs don’t come cheap — CBS News reported in 2009 that it costs approximately $500,000 to start a physical education program — so it comes as no surprise that only 6 percent of American schools offered daily gym classes as of 2009. But despite the costs, gym offers students huge benefits. From fighting obesity to improving academic performance, gym is essential for the health and well-being of students.

Fighting Obesity

According to medical doctor Joseph A. Zenel, “physical education in schools is one of the most important ways to help fight childhood obesity.” Gym class helps keep students active, which can avert unhealthy weight gains. For this reason, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends that elementary school students have at least 90 minutes of gym per week and almost four hours a week for middle and high school students.

Fighting Obesity

According to medical doctor Joseph A. Zenel, “physical education in schools is one of the most important ways to help fight childhood obesity.” Gym class helps keep students active, which can avert unhealthy weight gains. For this reason, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends that elementary school students have at least 90 minutes of gym per week and almost four hours a week for middle and high school students.

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