The purpose of this study was to examine the benefits of physical exercise among secondary school students. Participants in the study were 251 students (120 boys and 131 girls) attending three public secondary schools in the Hlanganani rural area of South Africa. A validated questionnaire was used to collect data. Results of this study indicated that students exercised to be with their friends, to be physically attractive and compete with others. The findings of this study have practical implications for promoting participation in physical activity among students in rural schools. In an effort to promote physical activity participation, schools should be provided with quality sports infrastructure and funding so that they can implement school sport programmes. Finally, the teaching of physical education should be emphasised in schools as it is the cornerstone for children’s involvement in physical activity.
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