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What’s your worst gym class memory (and has it affected your exercise habits?)

Photo by Chewonki Semester School via Flickr Creative Commons

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Too short shorts, dodgeballs to the face and endless laps around the football stadium.

While some students may have enjoyed physical education, for many it was an embarrassing ordeal — and according to a new study from Iowa University in Ames, the kind of experience you had in P.E. might be indicative of your exercise habits today.

The correlations are not surprising. According to the study,  people who didn’t enjoy gym class as kids are less likely to exercise as adults and those who did like P.E. choose to be more active. As part of the survey, participants were also asked to describe their worst and best memories of gym class, and researchers were surprised that even many decades later, these memories were vivid and charged with emotion.Which gave us an idea…

Tell us your stories of minor injuries and major embarrassments, of torn shorts and bruised egos and the gym coach from hell. What’s the horrible gym class memory that you haven’t been able to repress? And how has it affected your exercise habits as an adult?


Paddy Ekkekakis, professor of exercise psychology at Iowa State University and co-author of the study “My Best Memory is When I Was Done With It’: P.E. Memories Are Associated with Adult Sedentary Behavior”; he tweets @Ekkekakis