New Study Shows Importance of Recess

While any reader of this blog knows the importance of recess, it’s always nice to read a new study that backs that claim. The study, “School Recess and Group Classroom Behavior,” which was just released on January 26 and published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, “suggests that recess may play an important role in the learning, social development, and health of children in elementary school.” In fact, teachers reported that school children who had at least 15 minutes of recess had “better classroom behavior.”

Here’s a copy of the report.

5 thoughts on “New Study Shows Importance of Recess

  1. It blows me away that “they” even spend money on studies like this. Any parent or teacher worth their salt can tell you this simply from anecdotal evidence. Or common sense. Then again, we seem to have lost that these days.


  2. Cheryl, you echoed my words exactly. I wrote as much when the recess debate came up on this forum weeks ago.

    I can’t believe they are quibbling over twenty minutes of recess. Twenty minutes! We don’t need to waste good money on studies, on task forces, on committee reports, on meetings and training sessions and documents and public hearings.. It staggers my mind how much time and money public school wastes.

    Kids need to play. End of story. We’ve always known this, why are we spending so much money reinventing the wheel? Twenty minutes is paltry to begin with. To spend this much time arguing and debating is just a stalling technique.

    I agree with Cheryl. The only thing truly in short supply these days is a healthy dose of common sense.I homeschooled an 8th grader, just one year, and the amount of time we spent outdoors makes this twenty minute recess debate laughable. My daughter did her math on a blanket spread out on the lawn. We hiked in the winter woods while we dissected the finer points of Shakespeare. I took her for walks in a gorgeous wetland marsh nature preserve and then we sat and wrote poetry together. My daughter climbed a tree to write a novel. We wove nature in whenever we could. We learned and enjoyed. It was as if we were making up for all the lost time, all that nature lost.

    Twenty minutes outside to run around and we have school officials who can’t make a decision without running some useless bloated study. Enough already. Throw these idiots out and let’s get some real educators in there to run the show.


  3. Thank you for posting the copy of the report. I shall offer it “for homework” to my 7-years-old son’s teacher. Her policy is: if you didn’t finish your paper on time, – no recess for you!
    I do agree with the previous comment, let’s throw idiots out! And to the real educators, – we need you here in Ottawa, Canada. Please help!!!


  4. Dear Frustrated Mom,

    What’s going on in Ottawa? Toronto revised its homework policy last year; Barrie followed suit. And there’s that great report that came out of OISE that homework has no value. Maybe you can find some other parents in Ottawa and change homework policy in Ottawa or even province-wide.

    And, for samples of letters to your teacher, take a look at all the letters written by Diane Hewlett-Lowrie that are on Just type “Lowrie” into the search box.

    Good luck and keep me posted. And, by the way, what school does your child go to? I know some other parents in Ottawa who dislike homework as much as you.


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