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Physical Education Choices: IBDP Sports, Exercise and Health Science vs. CIE Physical Education vs. CBSE Physical Education
Jan, 01 2024

Physical education is a scoring subject in IBDP, CIE and CBSE and has practical and theoretical components. The subject touches upon physiology, various forms of physical activities, nutrition, and sports, among others. Physical education is a compulsory subject in CBSE, but in IBDP and CIE, it is an elective. If you are planning to pursue a course in sports fitness, professional sports, nutrition, or the fitness industry, then studying these subjects in the 11th and 12th standards may be a requisite for the graduate programme. Even otherwise, the knowledge and skills one cultivates through these programmes can help you make informed dietary choices and learn about physical activities that you can do to lead a healthy life.

Overview of IBDP Sports, Exercise and Health Science

Sports, Exercise and Health Science is a subject in IBDP under which they will learn concepts, theories, models, and techniques of the various subjects. It is offered as a Standard Level (SL) or High Level (HL) course, and you can select the subject as per the level of engagement you want. The main subjects covered in this course are –

  • exercise physiology and nutrition of the human body
  • biomechanics
  • sports psychology and motor learning.

The curriculum will include practical work, group projects, two external assessments and one internal assessment.

Overview of CIE Physical Education

This subject focuses on developing physical fitness, sports skills, and knowledge of health-related topics. It involves practical activities, theory-based learning, and personal fitness assessments. The syllabus includes –

  • Anatomy and physiology
    • skeleton and its function
    • joints – types, movements, structure and function
    • muscles – action, fibre type
    • respiratory system- pathway of air, breathing mechanics, volume and ventilation, aerobic and anaerobic respiration
    • blood – components, haemoglobin, blood vessels
    • heart – structure and function, cardiac output
    • recovery
    • short term and long-term effects of exercise
    • force – principle and application, levers
  • Health, fitness and training
    • Health and Fitness
    • Diet and energy
    • Fitness components
    • Principles and methods of training
  • Skill acquisition and psychology
    • Skill and ability
    • Skill classification
    • Simple information processing model
    • Relaxation technique
    • Personality types
  • Social, cultural and ethical influences
    • Leisure and recreation
    • Growth and leisure activities
    • Media
    • Technology
    • Performance enhancing drugs
    • Doping
    • Sportsmanship
    • Risk
    • Injuries

Overview of CBSE Physical Education

The Physical Education course in CBSE covers the following topics –

  • Management of sporting events
  • Yoga
  • Physical education and sports for children with special needs
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Test and measurement in sports
  • Physiology and injuries in sports
  • Biomechanics and sports, psychology, and sports
  • Training in sports.

The subject delves into areas such as lifestyle disease, sports nutrition, physical activities and fitness. The subject is application-based and leads to deeper learning of physical education and management.

Usefulness for college and career

Physical education courses are easy-to-score subjects and can be very useful if you are planning to pursue courses in sports management, PE teacher training, nutritionist, health and wellness industry-related business or jobs. There is a great demand for fitness experts to counter the numerous lifestyle illnesses, helping people attain and maintain their ideal body shape, and assisting people in learning a new exercise form and following a healthy and nutritious diet plan. If you are looking for niche career opportunities, there is great demand for nutritionists, trainers, physiotherapists, sports psychiatrists, and others in the international sports industry.

If you are a professional sportsperson or have a passion for sports, fitness and wellness, then you will truly enjoy this subject and the career path it can lead to.

Fitness for life

Even if you are not looking at a career directly in sports and fitness, these subjects are directly linked with the ideal lifestyle one must lead for physical and mental well-being. The subjects one learns in these courses can help you make informed choices and counter unhealthy lifestyle habits with healthy and active practices.

IBDP and CIE delve deeper into physical education courses with a wide syllabus that covers a larger number of topics. Even the curriculum design integrates theory and practical applications in the right measures to ensure the students gain a proper understanding of what they are learning. CBSE’s Physical Education course is less broad but covers the salient topics.

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