More On The Importance Of Recess

Share Button

From Your Health Journal…..”Many of you know I love the Education Week web site, and try to promote it often with their great articles. Today’s review is from Education Week about the importance of recess. With childhood obesity on the rise, and children showing many risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, recess is a very important part of their day. It helps many kids get some well needed physical activity, enhances cognitive skills, improves social skills, and gives the brains a little ‘rest’ time. We need to support recess in schools as well as physical education, as many children are not getting the needed daily physical activity once they get home. Please visit the Education Week web site (link below) to read and support this wonderful article.”

From the article…..

With recess facing an uncertain future in some schools, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement today emphasizing the unique role of recess in the development of children.

The AAP notes that in recent years, studies and surveys have indicated that recess time has been on the decline in favor of more class time. (Here’s looking at you, high-stakes testing.)

However, with childhood obesity on the rise since the turn of the century, schools also now face calls to address the epidemic by scheduling more physical activity throughout the school day.

The academy suggests that recess can be a way to accomplish two goals simultaneously. Previous studies have found students to be more attentive in class after recess, as their brains need time to recover after intense bouts of instruction.

“To be effective, the frequency and duration of breaks should be sufficient to allow the student to mentally decompress,” the AAP recommends.

Beyond the social and emotional benefits of allowing students to spend time with their friends in a nonstructured environment, recess also provides children an opportunity to get outside and stretch their legs for a few minutes each day, which the AAP and other experts consider critical.

“Even minor movement during recess counterbalances sedentary time at school and at home and helps the child achieve the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day,” the statement reads.

Allowing children to engage in physical activity in recess could help them stay physically fit, which could end up helping them in the classroom, too. A review published online in January in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found “strong evidence” of a link between academic achievement and physical fitness.

The academy stops short of recommending a specific amount of time to allocate to recess on a daily basis, noting that U.S. schools tend to provide a range from 20 to 60 minutes per day. Meanwhile, schools in Japan tend to give their students hourly breaks.

To read the full article…..Click here