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ERIC Number: ED541180
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Increasing Physical Activity through Recess. Research Brief
Beighle, Aaron
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Regular physical activity promotes important health benefits, reduces risk for obesity and is linked with enhanced academic performance among students. The U.S. Surgeon General recommends that children engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week, yet fewer than half of children ages 6 to 11 meet that recommendation. Recess is scheduled outside of class time and allows students to engage in physical and social activities of their choice. The National Association for Sport & Physical Exercise (NASPE) recommends that all elementary school students have at least 20 minutes of recess each day. Short physical activity breaks, such as those offered during recess, have been shown to enhance cognitive performance and improve learning. This brief summarizes the growing body of research examining recess, which shows that providing recess during the school day is an effective and efficient way to increase physical activity and improve academic performance among children. Key research results include: (1) Providing recess breaks throughout the day can improve students' classroom behavior and attentiveness; (2) Children can accumulate up to 40 percent of their total daily physical activity during recess; and (3) There are many effective strategies for increasing children's levels of physical activity during recess. (Contains 1 figure and 33 endnotes.)
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. P.O. Box 2316, Route 1 and College Road East, Princeton, NJ 08543. Tel: 877-843-7953; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation