Recess An Underestimated Activity

Beatriz M.

Recess has been thought to be just for little kids. It is actually considered a very important time of day. Many schools have cut this vital activity so they can add more time to other subjects. Leisure breaks can help with a students overall development, including academics. Schools should deduct time from subjects and make time for recreational activities.

First of all, although student’s grades are important, a student’s physical and social development is crucial as well. According to the NBC news website (http://vitals.nbcnews.com), Arthur Weltman, professor and director of the exercise physiology program in the University of Virginia, says that there is a lot of data showing that kids do better on standardized test when they get recess. While the No Child Left Behind Act was made to improve students’ test scores, it was actually not helping at all! Because of the act, schools have had to cut recess, meaning that students would have to be in their seats for a long time. But studies have shown that when doing at least 10 minutes physical activity before a test, students’ test scores improved.
Second, ever since outdoor physical activities have been eliminated in schools, more and more kids are becoming obese. Statistics from Dr.Mercola’s website (http://articles.mercola.com) show that 30% of U.S. Kids are overweight; childhood obesity has increased over the past 25 years. Obesity can cause many different diseases and illnesses as children get older.  For example, lack of recess can lead to heart disease, bone and joint problems, osteoarthritis, and even more problems as kids grow up. Also, with out play, stress levels increase in students causing them to worry about their test grades. This would not happen if students had more outdoor play and time to relax.
However, schools have thought that recess was just a waste of time. Although, recess has some hazards, like bullying, that school officials put to consideration, this part of day has benefited student development too. For example, it can help with a child’s concentration in class because the child has had some time to get around and take a break from being stuck in a chair all day. Outdoor play can also help with how a student acts in class. For example, a study made by Journal of Pediatrics in 2009 named “School Recess and Group Classroom Behavior” found that daily recess of at least 15 minutes improved students’ classroom behavior. This proves that recess helps with a students’ behavior in class.
In conclusion, physical activity is just as important as any other subject. Students’ overall development depends on this leisure break. Therefore, recess should be saved, instead of being tossed out.