Appropriate or Inappropriate Practice: Exercise as Punishment in Physical Education Class


physical educators, physical education, PE, student's exercise


There is an expectation that physical educators will provide games, activities, and interactions that will positively affect student attitudes toward being physically active throughout their lives. Unfortunately, certain pedagogical practices have been employed in physical education (PE) classes that negatively affect attitudes toward physical activity. Of those practices, incorporating student exercise as punishment (EAP) was the focus of this investigation. The purpose of this study was to explore individuals' (i.e., former students in PE) perspectives regarding their experiences of EAP. Findings suggest the use of EAP negatively affected the classroom environment as well as perceptions toward physical educators. Former PE students reported EAP did not tech valuable life lessons, with running and push-ups identified as the most common methods that physical educators used to punish students. Results of this study reveal that EAP may not be an appropriate practice and that physical educators should identify other methods of classroom management to create a more positive learning environment.

Original Publication Citation

Barney, D., Pleban, F., Fullmer, M.*, Griffiths, R.*, Higginson, K.*, & Whaley, D.*(2016). Appropriate or inappropriate practice: Exercise as punishment in physical education. The Physical Educator, 73, (1), 59-73

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The Physical Educator




David O. McKay School of Education


Educational Inquiry, Measurement, and Evaluation

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor