Recess as Essential as Class: Doctors
Great for kids' brains, bodies
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 1, 2013 4:57 PM CST
Recess is a key part of a child's day, pediatricians say.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Great news, though it comes too late for most of us: Doctors are taking a stand on the benefits of recess, and not just for the exercise. It's just as important to children's development as class time is, the American Academy of Pediatrics says. The organization is officially advocating a scheduled break during the school day, Time reports. "Children need to have downtime between complex cognitive challenges," says a pediatrician. "They tend to be less able to process information the longer they are held to a task."

And "it’s not enough to just switch from math to English. You actually have to take a break," he adds. On top of that, recess lets kids work on conflict resolution. And there are the health implications: A decline in recess has coincided with a rise in child obesity. The news comes with recess on the outs: Just three states require 20 minutes per day. Recess structures vary widely between schools, with 73% of kids through sixth grade getting some type of recess since the 1990s. The report doesn't say how long recess should be—but it's not just for students: "Everyone, not just kids, benefits from regular breaks in the day," says a researcher.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Recess as Essential as Class: Doctors is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 22 comments
May 11, 2013 10:41 AM CDT
I did my first successful Handspring on the playground. This was after the Gym coach shown me how and I finally got out of 'ear-shot' of him. A kid's playground is his/her laboratory.
Jan 2, 2013 4:27 PM CST
I remember being quite upset the first day of 6th grade when I found there was no scheduled recess. If you wanted to play kick ball, you had to scarf down your lunch and do it during lunch. So lame.
Jan 2, 2013 10:32 AM CST
But it's okay for school teachers, coaches and administrators to legally hit children Kindergarten through Twelfth grade with wooden paddles to inflict Pain Punishment for minor infractions in taxpayer funded public schools in 19 states with No Safety standards to protect children from excessive force injuries or to prevent sadistic pedophiles from filming and sharing their perverse pleasure? See shocking brutally violent injuries to schoolchildren from School Corporal Punishment at YouTube video trailer for Documentary Movie "The Board of Education" by Jared Abrams. The ACLU recommended enacting Federal Bill H.R. 3027 "The Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act" Cost $0, at the Groundbreaking Senate Hearing to End the School-to-Prison-Pipeline held 12/12/12. Corporal Punishment is Illegal in Schools in 31 U.S. States and Prohibited by Federal Law for use against convicted Felons in ALL U.S. Prisons! Fear, Pain, Intimidation and Humiliation are Not appropriate "School Discipline Tools!" Search "A Violent Education" 2008 Study by Human Rights Watch and ACLU for disturbing facts. dont hit students dot com