7 Reasons Why Children Need Recess

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Recently, Lee County reinstated recess in our public schools. If you were wondering why some of our parents fought so hard for it, check out this article excerpt from this month’s Pathways Newsletter:

  1. Everyone benefits from a break. Research indicates that people learn better and faster when their efforts are distributed, rather than concentrated.
  2. Recess increases focus. In one study 60% of the children worked more and/or fidgeted less on recess days.
  3. Natural light improves wellness. Sunlight stimulates the pineal gland and synthesis of vitamin D. This is vital to the immune system, and simply makes us feel better and be more productive.
  4. Recess reduces stress. Unstructured physical play is an opportunity to expend energy in a healthy, suitable manner.
  5. Recess develops social skills. It provides experience for socialization & communication.
  6. Exercise is healthy. All children benefit from physical activity, and in fact require it for optimal health.
  7. Physical activity feeds the brain. Thanks to advances in brain research, we now know that most of the brain is activated during physical activity—much more so than while sedentary.

Movement increases the capacity (and possibly even the number) of blood vessels in the brain. This expedites the delivery of oxygen, water and glucose (“brain food”), thereby optimizing the brain’s performance.

This is a modified excerpt from: Why Kids Need Recess by Rae Pica, which appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine.

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