While many schools across the country are reducing or banning recess outright, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says we should think twice before cutting back on recess. According to a new policy statement released this spring, recess not only needs to be kept in place, we should also consider adding it to high school curriculums.
The Benefits of Recess
Recess benefits growing children in three very distinct ways:
- Cognitive- Research has shown that providing kids with a break during the day improves their memories and helps them to concentrate better.
- Health- With childhood obesity at record numbers, children should be encouraged to play actively outside as often as possible.
- Social- Playgrounds are the perfect area for kids to learn how to take turns, negotiate with others and resolve conflicts.
In addition to continuing recess, the AAP calls for a change in disciplinary measures. Many times children who act out have recess taken away from them as a punishment. According to the APA, this can have a counterproductive result; often what’s needed to curtail bad behavior is physical exercise to burn off excess energy.
Health experts say that kids can benefit from a recess of just 15 to 20 minutes to recharge and burn off excess energy. In the long run, is the savings of 30-40 minutes a day worth the physical and mental benefits that it offers? If you think that recess is an important part of your child’s schooling, get in touch with your school or the PTA to make your voice heard. Well organized parents can have a big voice when it comes to their children’s curriculum.
Talk to your chiropractic team about how important physical exercise is for children. They’ll be able to explain to you just how much physical activity your child requires each day and how your whole family can benefit from regular exercise, preferably as a group.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
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