More Reasons for Recess

March 09, 2009

By Lindsay Muscato, HSC Writer/Communications Specialist

Recess
HSC is happy to see that more new research endorses recess.  A recent New York Times blog points to a study in the journal Pediatrics that linked recess to better classroom behavior.

The lead researcher, Dr. Romina M. Barros, a pediatrician and an assistant clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said the findings were important because many schools did not view recess as essential to education.

“We should understand that kids need that break because the brain needs that break.”

And many children are not getting that break. In the Pediatrics study, 30 percent were found to have little or no daily recess. Another report, from a children’s advocacy group, found that 40 percent of schools surveyed had cut back at least one daily recess period.

Also, teachers often punish children by taking away recess privileges. That strikes Dr. Barros as illogical. “Recess should be part of the curriculum,” she said. “You don’t punish a kid by having them miss math class, so kids shouldn’t be punished by not getting recess.”

The blog post also quotes researchers who say that when kids break for recess, they're exercising important social skills and learning to stay fit, in addition to giving their brains a chance to rest before the next lesson.

HSC advocates for recess in every school and believes that recess is part of the healthy lifestyle kids need to in order to learn and succeed throughout their school years and later in life as adults.

Read the full New York Times blog post.

Read a recent blog on recess from HSC's founding executive director, Rochelle Davis.