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Distance Learning PE Ideas for Students to be More Active

Distance Learning PE Ideas for Students to be More Active

|Nov 10, 2020

The transition to distance learning has become a challenge for many teachers from around the world; while we're getting more in-depth into the digital era, there are some things that we still need to figure out to make distance learning (or E-learning) more useful for students, especially for topics such as PE. Coming up with a distance learning PE idea may seem complicated at first, but there are some ways to get around it.

Staying healthy and active is an essential thing for everyone, regardless of where they are. If you are a PE teacher, and you're unsure of what distance learning PE activities you can assign to your students, keep reading below!

Why Are Distance Learning PE Activities Important?

While some students may see PE as something not as important as other subjects, it can have a huge impact on their health, and it's important that they understand that impact. Encouraging a student to engage in PE activities helps them develop exercising habits, which is great for improving physical and mental health.

According to Dr. John Ratey, including exercise into a student's routine has been shown to build more brain cells and improve academics. It can also improve their mood and reduce stress/anxiety levels. Taking this into account, it's safe to say that teaching students to be more active is as important as studying for other subjects.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Distance Learning PE Activities?

There are several benefits that a student can get from engaging in PE activities, even if they're at home. The main benefit is that those activities can increase students' mood and productivity, which directly affects the other subjects they're studying in a positive way.

Photo of routine

The following are other pros that a student can get from PE activities at home:

  • Reduces anxiety levels.
  • Improves cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

  • Boosts productivity.

  • Improves self-esteem.

  • Helps to control weight, and avoid obesity.

  • Boosts concentration levels

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages of engaging in distance learning PE activities, which you can see below:

  • There's little to no in-person interaction.

  • It's harder to self-discipline oneself.

  • It's not easy to create interesting activities for the student.

  • Online feedback for the students may be limited sometimes.

Online Learning PE Tips

There are many ways to go over this subject. While involving PE in a distance learning program is not as easy as with other subjects, there are some online learning PE tips that you can follow. 

1. Make it Interesting

If there's something that students don't like is boring classes. One of the main reasons why e-learning fails sometimes is a lack of planning and poor content managing. Keep in mind that coming up with a standard PE idea is not the same as coming up with a distance learning PE idea since they're different.

Overall, it comes down to adapting to online platforms to teach your classes. For example, if you need to show your students an exercise guide to do at home, make sure to use interesting multimedia resources to make it more interesting (i.e. using videos to showcase an exercise routine).

2. Don't Stick to Just One Activity

Regardless of the activity that you're showing your students, make sure that you don't stick to the same one during the whole term since this can make it feel like a chore over time. If you want to keep your distance learning PE activities as dynamic as possible, the best thing that you can do is change things up sometimes.

For example, if you're showcasing an exercise routine, change the exercises from time to time, or change the tools you're using to show the exercises. If you're using pictures to show each exercise, try switching to video or alternating between the two methods. This can make a significant difference in the learning process, and it can help keep things fresh.

Photo of Don't stick to just one activity

3. Teach Your Students to Stay Active

Students are supposed to include PE activities in their daily routines, which is why it's important to teach them the benefits of what they're doing. If the person understands why they're doing a particular exercise or activity, they may be more likely to include them in their life.

A great way to do this is by sending the students some resource material regarding the distance learning PE activities. As a teacher, you can also encourage them to study more about the benefits of including PE activities and tips into their daily lives. 

Photo of teach your students to stay active

4. Encourage Your Students to be More Productive

Not everything is about distance learning PE activities. A great thing that you can do for students is by showing them how they can increase their productivity by changing certain habits. A good distance learning PE idea is to encourage them to get ergonomic equipment for studying.

One of the best equipment for students is the SmartDesk 4, which is a standing desk integrated with the Autonomous App, which shows the student how to be more productive while they're studying. This app can show you five-to-10-minute exercise routines that students can do during their studying breaks, while also showing them if they've been sitting for too long and need to walk for a while.

Photo of SmartDesk 4 app

However, if you want to take it one step further, you can suggest your students to get other ergonomic equipment, such as the ErgoChair 2 or the Kinn Chair, which are designed to keep the student's body in the right position while they're sitting, keeping them comfortable and safe while they're studying.

Last but not least, some accessories such as the Autonomous' Filing Cabinet can help students to organize their activities in a better way, which can also boost productivity. Overall, these are small online learning PE tips that can make a big difference for the students, so it's always nice to suggest them.

5. Look for Resources

There are a lot of resources that you can find online to help you guide yourself. For example, you can find many templates of activity logs on the internet, and you can also find hundreds of fitness channels on YouTube that you can show your students so that they can follow their activities.

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Distance Learning PE Activities that You Can Show Your Students

1. No-Equipment Exercises

Not everyone has an in-home gym, so it's better to create exercise routines that your students can do at home. For example, making a routine with basic squats, push-ups, or burpees may make them more likely to do them since those exercises can be done anywhere.

2. Sports

This may seem more complicated to include in distance learning PE activities, but it can be done. To change things up with the exercise routines, you can give your students a broad range of sports that they can try out, such as jump rope, throwing and catching, soccer, basketball, etc. This way, the student can do the activity that the home environment allows them to.

3. Yoga and Meditation

Including these into your distance learning PE activities' programs can help the student to relax and focus on their following activities in a better way. These activities can be done anywhere, so they're a nice addition to home routines.

Photo of Yoga and Meditation


The perfect distance learning PE idea is to be creative and find many ways to teach your students. If you follow these online learning PE tips, you can have a clearer idea of what distance learning PE activities work better for your students and what activities don't.

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