Mandatory exercise 'not a good fit with NCEA'

00:37, Aug 05 2014
penny mouat
DON'T MAKE US: Cashmere High School students Penny Mouat, 16, says some students would rebel if they were forced to exercise at school.

Being made to do 90 minutes of exercise during school time would put more pressure on NCEA students, says year 12 student Cameron Bishop.

"I mean it would be nice because it would be time away from study but it would be time we could be doing study to get better grades."

Cameron and his year 12 friends at Cashmere High School responded to a proposal to make all schools incorporate three 30-minute exercise sessions into the curriculum each week to address high levels of obesity.

students exercising
MANDATORY EXERCISE? Cashmere High School students Penny Mouat, 16, and Sarah Boomer, 17, do some exercise.

A national survey of secondary school students in 2012, Youth12, found only 10 per cent of students (14 per cent males, 6 per cent females) had met the current recommendation of 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

Penny Mouat, who studies physical education, could see the benefits of compulsory exercise.

"There would be a couple that would rebel but you would get a whole lot more participating if it was compulsory, and it would make a flow-on effect, of like 'oh yeah this is really quite fun'.

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Though welcoming it for herself, Annaliese Elliot said many students would resent being made to exercise.

"There are a lot of students in the junior years who are quite opposed to doing physical exercise because it is in school time and if you get sweaty you have to continue with your class."

Joey Dwyer and Thomas Moot felt there were better ways to address obesity.

"I just don't think they would like being made to do something. They like having a choice," Joey said. He suggested giving students more out-of-school options such as mountainbiking and swimming.

Banning pies from the school canteen, helping schools keep their pools and freeing teachers from paperwork to help with sports would solve the obesity problem, Thomas said.

The Press