Ask any kid and most will agree that recess is their favorite time of day in school. I remember having a morning recess for 15 minutes and then an afternoon one when I was in grade school. But these days with more focus on reading, writing, computers and math, some schools have opted out of the recess time.
With the federal "No Child Left Behind Act" demanding a lot more from schools, in an attempt to steadily improve learning for all students, some schools have responded by cutting back on playtime so students can spend more time learning.
But recess is more than just play time...
Aside from giving some teachers a break in the classroom, recess is important. So much in fact, a new study released by Cornell University showed that kids who had recess were more likely to eat fruits and vegetables as a snack after their bout of play.
Researchers studied 2,500 elementary-schoolers in Utah receiving fruits and veggies at lunch as part of the National School Lunch Program. Three of seven schools studied moved their recess periods to before lunch, and researchers had the unenviable task of watching the garbage cans to see how much healthy stuff got thrown away.
Turns out that the kids ate 54 percent more fruits and vegetables when recess was before lunch. Plus, in schools that made the swap, 45 percent more kids ate at least one serving of fruits and veggies.
Recess gives time for students to get their bodies moving.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children took a stand as early as 1997 on the value of school recess and outdoor play. They contend that school recess is often the only time during the work week that children are able to be carefree - a time when their bodies, voices and schedules are not under tight control. This stress relieving play has been proven to help improve academics and fitness levels.
So here's to recess! Maybe this concept of stress reduction and play is something that the workplace should consider. If there are benefits to our children, there are certainly benefits for our adult-aging bodies as well. Let's talk to HR!
Thoughts? Should their be adult recess at work?