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Difference Between PE and Sport

Physical Education Vs. Sport

Sport and physical education are often confused with each other in the modern society. In that confusion, most people presume that physical education must only involve sports. However, sport leaves a different and larger footprint, for example, in the Olympic society. The footprint is easier to see compared to in physical education.

While sporting involves putting into practice, the skills learned through experience physical education consists of a combination of sport and physical activity. In plain language, physical education is the education of sport and brings along fitness and health benefits, aspects that are entwined and important to learning sport.

The two fields, sport, and physical education impact positively on the society. They are important activities for children in their developing stages. To compound their importance, they are must-haves in primary schools.

To make a clear mark between the two, this post seeks to bring out individual differences between them.


Definition of Physical Education

Physical education involves the instructions given in physical exercises and games, especially in schools. While a sports instruction may be given for competitive purposes, physical education is not necessarily with a goal of getting the participant into any competition. It is solely for physical and health fitness.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines physical education as the instructions given in push for the development and care of the body. The instructions range from simple calisthenics exercises to courses studying the provision of training in gymnastics, hygiene, and the performance and management of athletic games.

Purposes of Physical Education

Physical education is part of many education systems. It has been accepted as a basic way of attaining physical and health fitness among children. It also promotes lifelong well-being as well as preventing various health conditions. To put more weight on its benefits, it is recommended that every child between the age of six and 17 years should have at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

PE also helps individuals improve their cardiorespiratory fitness, strengthen their bones and muscles, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and control weight. It is also a proven companion in controlling the development of health conditions as:

  • High blood pleasure
  • Cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis


Definition of Sport

Sport is defined as any activity that involves physical exertion and skill where an individual or team competes against each other for entertainment or rewards. It usually comprises all forms of competitive physical activities or games where through organized or casual participation, the participants aim to use, maintain, or improve their physical ability for enjoyment, entertainment, or rewards.

Purposes/Benefits of Sports

It is not a secret that physical activities can be good for our bodies. The benefits of sports are many and include:

  • Improving the cardiovascular health by working out the heart.
  • Lowering the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and diabetes.
  • Reducing blood pressure.
  • Managing one’s weight.
  • Enhancing aerobic fitness.
  • Improving the muscular strength and endurance.
  • Improving mental health.
  • Warding off osteoporosis.
  • Lowering some cancer types like lung, breast, and colon cancer.
  • Improving joints flexibility and range of motion reducing the risks of injuries.


Possible Similarities Between PE and Sport

Physical education and sport are different activities but have several similarities. The top similarity is that they both involve physical activities. They also help prevent some common ailments and health complications including obesity and diabetes. Also, the two can be great components of reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and improving one’s self-esteem.


Differences Between PE and Sport

Since it is not easy for most people to differentiate between the two terms, they end up concluding they refer to the same thing. However, there are several aspects that draw the distinction between the two. The differences can be categorized as below:

  1. Classification

A sport is classified as an activity that requires physical prowess or skills, and often of some competitive nature such as tennis, bowling, racing, and boxing while physical education is classified as a training in a bid to develop and care for the human body.

  1. Rules

For a sport to take place, there are set rules that must be followed. They govern the way it progresses and determine the results if it is a competitive one. Physical education on its part does not require any rules or standards.

  1. Conditions

A sport requires physical skills to play while physical education is a free engagement as the intended results are varied.

  1. Purpose

A sport is mainly for entertainment or competitive needs. In the latter, it ends with rewards after accomplishments. Physical education, on the other hand, is essential for body development as well as for health and fitness promotion.

  1. Mode

The basic skills of physical education are acquired during a child’s schooling years and are taught using linear pedagogy. Sport relies on non-linear pedagogy where it is entirely focused on a player rather than the activity itself since they already have the basics.

Physical Education vs. Sport: Comparison Table


Summary of PE vs. Sport

Although physical education and sport are two different terms, the results are almost similar. They both help in promoting good health, fitness, and preventing some health conditions. While physical education is a compulsory subject in most education systems, sport is usually at the discretion of a learning institution. Regardless of that, children and even grownups should be encouraged to take part in either of the two and enrich their well-being.

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References :

[0]"Similarities And Differences Between Sport And Fitness Physical Education Essay." UKEssays.com. 11 2013. All Answers Ltd. 09 2018 .

[1]"CDC | Physical Activity | Facts | Healthy Schools". Cdc.Gov, 2018, https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/physicalactivity/facts.htm. Accessed 28 Sept 2018.

[2]"Misc.". Bodybuilding.Com, 2018, https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=153717581. Accessed 28 Sept 2018.

[3]"15 Health Benefits Of Sports | Insports Centers". Insports Trumbull, CT - Adult & Youth Leagues - Soccer, Basketball, Lacrosse, Field Hockey, 2018, http://insportscenters.com/15-health-benefits-of-sports/. Accessed 28 Sept 2018.

[4]Image credit: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/594839

[5]Image credit: http://letsmove.obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/letsmove.gov/files/imagecache/embedded_image/image/image_file/FLOTUS%20skips%20on%20the%20South%20Lawn.jpg?itok=cw4db0Nl

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