2.19.18: Physical Education in Schools: Girls vs. Boys?
Interested in gender parity in fitness? Start early. Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and Northumbria University show that getting girls involved in physical fitness programs in early elementary school may level the playing field in terms of participation and engagement.
Sian Lawson, senior lecturer in sports coaching at Northumbria University, suggested that segregated PE lessons were a “historical hangover from Victorian values” that see boys and girls as having different needs. She insisted there was no physical reason to view “female bones as more breakable or girls more fragile when given the same level of exercise”.
Dr. Lawson from the University of Pennsylvania has found that many perceived gender differences boil down to cultural issues, with school athletics being one of the key barriers to equality. “If everyone trains and competes on equal terms, the biologically slower can up their game, and if the fast naturally rise to the top no one should object,” she said. “If we aspire to believe in individual variation over stereotyping, and equality of opportunity, then why not let our children start with that?”
Separate research by the UK’s Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation revealed that just over half of girls – 51%– are discouraged from participating in fitness activities by their experiences in school athletics and PE lessons. But, Dr. Lawson insisted that the subject could be used to actually break down barriers between the sexes.
Creating an encouraging, engaging environment where everyone participates – equally – is the key to getting all kids interested in physical activity; establishing a healthy habit that will serve them for life. Fitness should be easy, fun, functional and rewarding.
Flashfit is an easy, fun-to-use app provides aerobic and strength-building exercises in one-minute bursts. Your school can build teams and groups, compete and gamify to increase engagement and reward participation. No special equipment needed – students can move their bodies anywhere. And, Flashfit is offering $100 grants and special support to schools deploying the program. Applications are due February 28, 2018. Find more details and apply here: http://dev-flashfit.pantheonsite.io/grants/
Sources: Telegraph UK, University of Pennsylvania