New Study Shows Recess is an Important Part of School Day

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • As parents, we know the benefit of exercise for our children. Exercise can help calm a hyperactive child, help to keep a child focused and provide a much needed break for the parents. During the school day, recess provides the much needed break from academics and gives the child a way to use pent up energy.


    As a parent of a son with ADHD, I know that when recess was not possible, the afternoons dragged on for my son. I know that when he remained inside for recess to complete work, the day did not go so well.


    There has been a great deal of research on how exercise can help increase focus and attention. A recent study backed up this data, and took it one step further, specifically testing academic abilities with exercise.

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    According to the study, children (not ADHD) performed better in academics, especially reading comprehension, after exercising. The study monitored twenty 9-year old children and measured their attention and academic achievement after 20 minutes of exercise and compared to their responses from the previous day when they were tested after a resting period.


    Researchers saw an improvement in accuracy as well as attention. In addition, when achievement tests were given after a period of exercise, children performed better in reading comprehension, sometimes by as much as a full grade level. Math and spelling also improved, however, the margins were not as great.


    Recess, it seems, is an extremely important part of the school day.





    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2009, April 1). Physical Activity May Strengthen Children's Ability To Pay Attention. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from­ /releases/2009/03/090331183800.htm

Published On: April 02, 2009