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January 23, 1967

Classification of Students for Physical Education

JAMA. 1967;199(4):265-267. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120040075014

Physical education is a requirement in most schools and colleges in the United States. This area of the curriculum provides the opportunity for youth to develop strength, speed, and stamina; to learn skills in physical recreation; to experience the emotional give and take of competitive play; and to gain the dynamic health benefits of physical activity.

Waiving a student's privilege of participation in physical education is a serious decision for a physician, one that can profoundly influence the student's physical growth and emotional development. Physical education's important role in building healthy personalities as well as healthy bodies needs to be more widely understood. Unnecessary restriction of physical activity can hamper personal development and interfere with group acceptance of a student.

Excuses from physical education which deprive a young person of desirable developmental experiences in this area should not be granted unless there is a clear and overriding health reason wherein