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Effects of Physical Education on Brain Report

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Updated: Jun 20th, 2019

There are some differences between a male and a female brain. Females are known to be excellent in solving problems involving languages. On the other hand, males are fair well in tasks involving arithmetic analysis. These are just some of the differences between a boy and a girl. Sometimes these differences, whether knowingly or not, can result in discrimination when teaching (Ratey, 2008).

There are various ways a teacher can overcome these differences. For example during a physical education lesson, boys would generally perform better than girls. Therefore, the teacher must be careful not to protect the girls, since the objective of the lesson might not be met. In a language lesson, girls would generally perform better than boys. In this case, the teacher should give group assignments, so that they can learn from each other. Both boys and girls should be in each group (Ratey, 2008).

Physical movement increases a child’s performance in subjects like mathematics, science and languages. Other benefits that come from physical movement include improved reading skills, positive attitude towards education and improved intelligence. Other than academic benefits, exercise strengthens muscles as well as some vital parts of the brain such as cerebellum and basal ganglia. Physical movement assist in the circulation of oxygen to the brain, thus enhancing development of neurons (Ratey, 2008).

Throughout America, many schools have reduced hours and resources allocated to physical education. This is because, some schools have the notion that students would be better prepared, if they dedicate most of their time in the curriculum. In other schools, importance of physical education has not been well emphasized. Instead, a lot of attention has been given to major sports such as football and basketball. Since not all students are good in these sports, they are usually left out (Villaire, 2000).

Exercise has been known to cure depression and enhance memory. To be precise, it causes the discharge of some neurotransmitters that ease mental and bodily pain. The inner ear system and sensory-motor system are among the first body systems to mature once a person is born. During exercise, impulses go back and forth from vestibular and motor sensory. This type of interaction is vital for learning since it helps students maintain balance and improve coordination in movements.

The kind of exercise encouraged here is spinning, which can be achieved in a merry go round. A chemical known as Brian-Derived Neurotrophic Factor is released by brain during a physical activity. This chemical produces and safeguards new neurons. These neurons are usually created in a place called the hippocampus, which happens to be the section of the brain involved in learning and storage of memory (Stevens, 2008).

The functioning of anterior cingulate suggests the existence of a connection between learning and movement. Studies have shown that lack of movement causes poor ties between various sections of brain and cerebellum. Cerebellum is part of the brain involved with emotional cleverness.

People move because the brain sends signals to various muscles of the brain. These movements are controlled by cerebellum or ganglia. However, when a person engages in a completely new type of movement, the prefrontal cortex is stimulated. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for solving problems and analysing. This area is stimulated because the brain has no record of the new movement. Continuous stimulation of this part will eventually lead to improved learning capabilities (Stevens, 2008).

Long working hours, misuse of drugs and bad diet have all been blamed for the increasing cases of depression. During depression, the pre-frontal cortex is usually inactive. When these conditions continue for a long time, it can lead to aggression, poor eyesight, nervousness, abuse of drugs and difficulty in learning. One of the most effective ways of treating depression is by exercising on a regular basis (Johnsgard, 2004).

When some neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and serotonin are few, depression might occur. Serotonin and BDNF have a mutual kind of relationship. The level of one chemical influences the level of the other one. Presence of BDNF increases the production rate of serotonin. Regular exercise elevates the level of such neurotransmitters in the body, by exciting the sympathetic nervous system.

It has been found out that when exercise is combined with antidepressants, the stress level is reduced significantly. The combination of BDNF produced while exercising and antidepressants, quickens recovery (Johnsgard, 2004). It has been observed that depressed people have a smaller hippocampus.

The smaller the hippocampus, the more the person is depressed. This situation can be reversed by exercise. Exercise generates BDNF which in turn stimulates the growth of neurons, the numerous neurons formed increase the size of the hippocampus, thereby reducing depression (Johnsgard, 2004).

In conclusion, physical education is as important as any other lesson in the school. Many schools have realized the importance of movement, and they are bringing it back to their programme. Apart from the many benefits, exercising is fun. People laugh and talk a lot during physical movement. This creates strong bonds between people, and most importantly, it gives an opportunity to improve social skills.


Johnsgard, K. (2004). Conquering Depression and Anxiety Through Exercise. New York: Prometheus Books.

Ratey, J. J. (2008). Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

Stevens, T. A. (2008). The importance of physical activity and physical education in the prediction of academic achievement. Journal of Sport Behavior 3(2), 36-50.

Villaire, T. (2000, May 15). Decline of Physical Activity. Retrieved from National PTA:

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