A Justification of Daily Physical Education in South Korea

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Exhibit Hall Poster Area 1 (Convention Center)
Taeho Yu1, Man-Seok Han1, Ji-Eun Lee1 and Deockki Hong2, (1)Korea University, Seoul, South Korea, (2)University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

The obesity epidemic has become a global problem nowadays. Children and adolescent’ obesity issues are especially problematic. Physical education researchers have argued that daily physical education can be a potential tool to combat obesity issues. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between daily moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and obesity among children and adolescents and develop a logical justification for a daily physical education in K-12 schools in South Korea.


Extensive literature review was conducted on pathology, neuroscience, and pedagogy research fields using key words of ‘daily physical education’ and ‘daily physical activity’ both in English and Korean. Then, data were analyzed based on the categories of obesity, brain development, daily physical education program, the relationship between daily MVPA and academic achievement, and social and emotional developments through daily physical activity.


Recent pathology research have evidenced that daily MVPA reduces cholesterols significantly that may prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes among children and adolescents. Neuroscience research results also support a positive relationship between daily MVPA and cognitive capacity that increases BDNF and activates neurons.  In addition, recent physical education pedagogy research results have shown the social and emotional benefits of daily physical education classes.  


Currently, K-12 national physical education curriculum in South Korea provides physical education class two to three days a week with a limited time block due to the low academic status compared to other core subjects such as science and mathematics. However, an evidence-based justification of daily physical education from pathology, neuroscience, and pedagogy research results can be served as a medium to facilitate daily physical education movement in South Korea.