Articles of Interest

How Important Is Recess?

The American Academy of Pediatrics say recess is essential to children’s health and development. It provides a much-needed break from the structure of a classroom, which leads to many cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits. It improves children’s memory and attention, helps them to stay focused in class, reduces disruptive behavior, and improves their social skills. Here are seven benefits of recess.

  1. Improves Academics – Studies have shown that higher amounts of recess result in higher academic performance and higher test scores. Physical activity expedites the delivery of oxygen to the brain, which leads to better overall performance. 
  1. Increases Engagement – Recess offers a much-needed break from the structured environment of a classroom, which helps children to be more focused when in the classroom.

  2. Reduces Disciplinary Issues – Studies show that at least one recess period a day can lead to better classroom behavior. 
  1. Improves Social Skills – Recess provides an opportunity to build social skills that are important to a child’s all-around development. 
  1. Promotes Physical Activity – Regular exercise is important to a child’s overall health, especially in today’s increasing tech-focused world. The physical activity of recess can reduce stress and allow students to feel more relaxed. 
  1. Fosters Independent Learning – During recess, children can play creatively and be more independent. This helps to foster independent learning, problem-solving skills, and increased self-confidence. 
  1. Provides Exposure to Natural Sunlight – Exposure to sunlight is essential for maintaining healthy vitamin D levels in children. Research has shown that vitamin D is good for brain development, especially during the growing years. Recess provides exposure to natural sunlight that can increase mood and overall health.

If your child is struggling in any of these areas, reach out to your child’s school guidance counselor or teacher. Click here to learn more about St. Luke’s Penn Foundation’s mental health services for children and adolescents.