Physical Education is vital to the total school program because it contributes to the growth of the student through development of the physical, mental, emotional, and social elements of total fitness. Physical Education communicates the concept of total fitness through participation in physical activity, the learning and application of complex skills, and interaction with peers.
Total fitness can enrich the quality of life by providing for a healthier lifestyle. Research indicates that over one-half of deaths in the United States are directly attributed to heart and vascular diseases. Dr. Russell R. Pate, a noted exercise physiologist, has stated: "Regular exercise can contribute to the prevention of certain diseases, and can help maintain a high physical working capacity. However, these benefits accrue only if exercise is participated in regularly throughout life".
In light of our mechanized society, with increasing amounts of leisure time, the need for physical activity has taken on an even greater significance. The Upper Darby Physical Education Curriculum has been developed to fulfill the need of providing students with knowledge about ways to safely engage in and enjoy physical activity throughout their lives.