Guiding Research

This page contains research that has been done that supports the premise that daily physical education is necessary and very worthwhile for children and adults.  This collection does not represent everything there is to know, but rather a sampling of current research and trends that any responsible teacher, care giver, parent or youth program director should be aware of.  This is an ongoing work in progress.

*Feel free to contribute to this collection!  Send a link and brief description of the article that you found to

Daily P.E. Could Increase Youth Physical Activity by 23 Minutes per Day, According to New Study

Combination of school, community policy changes could help young people meet national recommendations for daily physical activity

Chris Clayton | Robert Wood Johnson Foundation | | (609) 627-5937

Physical Education and Sport in Schools: A Review of Benefits and Outcomes

Research evidence is presented in terms of children’s development in a number of domains: physical, lifestyle, affective, social, and cognitive. The review suggests that PES have the potential to make significant and distinctive contributions to development in each of these domains. It is suggested that PES have the potential to make distinctive contributions to the development of children’s fundamental movement skills and physical competences, which are necessary precursors of participation in later lifestyle and sporting physical activities. They also, when appropriately presented, can support the development of social skills and social behaviors, self-esteem and pro-school attitudes, and, in certain circumstances, academic and cognitive development.

Bailey, R. (2006), Physical Education and Sport in Schools: A Review of Benefits and Outcomes. Journal of School Health, 76: 397–401. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2006.00132.x

Promoting Physical Education, the Link to Academic Achievement

Quality physical education is defined by standards related to five critical elements: (1) who teaches it, (2) how often students receive it, (3) what is taught, (4) how well students should perform, and (5) for what purpose it is taught (National Association for Sport and Physical Education [NASPE] & American Heart Association [AHA], 2006).

Smith, Nicole J.; Monica Lounsbery,. "Promoting physical education: the link to academic achievement: study data can make your advocacy efforts more compelling.(Report)." JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). 2009. HighBeam Research. 9 Mar. 2013 <>.

Most states lack daily physical-education requirements.(What the Numbers Say)

"Most states lack daily physical-education requirements.(What the Numbers Say)(Brief Article)." Curriculum Review. PaperClip Communications. 2005. HighBeam Research. 9 Mar. 2013 <>.

The Benefits of Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help:

  • Control your weight
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Reduce your risk of some cancers
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mental health and mood
  • Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you're an older adult
  • Increase your chances of living longer

Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO

Physical Education, Physical Activity and Academic Performance

In schools across the United States, physical education has been substantially reduced—and in some cases completely eliminated—in response to budget concerns and pressures to

improve academic test scores. Yet the available evidence shows that children who are physically active and fit tend to perform better in the classroom, and that daily physical education

does not adversely affect academic performance. Schools can provide outstanding learning environments while improving children’s health through physical education.

This report was prepared by Stewart G. Trost, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences at Oregon State University, with

support from the Active Living Research staff, Burness Communications and Pyramid Communications. For updates and a web-based version, visit

Active Living Research, San Diego State University, 3900 Fifth Avenue, Suite 310, San Diego, CA 92103

Physical Education is Critical to Educating the Whole Child

NASPE believes that physical education is critical to educating the whole child, and that all students in grades K-12 should receive physical education on a daily basis.

This position statement provides an overview on the "whole child initiative" based on the premise that 21st-century demands require a new and better way of approaching education policy and practice: a whole-child approach to learning, teaching and community engagement.