Physical activity is a key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle as research shows that children who play sports are more likely to have improved health and experience a multitude of other benefits. Incorporating physical activity into the curriculum gives children opportunities to take part in sport and stay active throughout the day. To explore the advantages of sports in schools we’ve teamed up with an independent sixth form college in London, read on to find out more.
The most obvious and the most profound benefit of engaging in physical activity is it’s impact on not only physical but also mental health. Children who play sport are less likely to be overweight or obese and also benefit from increased cardiovascular fitness, reduced blood pressure and increased bone density. Outside of these physical benefits playing sport also has a positive impact on mental wellbeing, as physical activity reduces stress and lessens the likelihood of developing depression or anxiety due to the release of endorphins and other mood boosting hormones.
Sharing a common goal or interest can lead children to forge firm and lasting friendships. Team sports encourage children to hone their communication skills and develop emotional intelligence as they learn to cooperate with others to achieve a shared goal. Children who engage in team sports will come to understand how to communicate effectively with different personalities, developing adaptability and patience. Team sports also teach children to be respectful of their teammates and show them the value of collaborating with others to achieve success.
Sports in school can also improve confidence and self-esteem as children will have the opportunity to face new challenges and become comfortable exploring their abilities outside their comfort zone. Sport familiarises children with dealing with minor failures, which boosts their self-esteem in the long term as they learn to dust themselves off and try again following a setback. Children who regularly take part in sport will be less fearful of failing and will be more likely to try new things and take sensible risks in other areas of their lives.