Recess and Classroom Behavior Study Released

Researchers reported on Monday that a growing trend of curbing free time at school may lead to unruly classrooms and rob youngsters of needed exercise and an important chance to socialize. The study published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics said, "The available research suggests that recess may play an important role in the learning, social development, and health of children in elementary school."

School officials have acknowledged that since No Child Left Behind legislation was initiated in 2001 physical education and recess have suffered severe cutbacks in many places while schools focus on academic achievement. The research also found that the children who experience little or no recess and PE were likely to be poor, or black and from large urban cities.

The study results indicated that, among 8- to 9-year-old children, having 1 daily recess period of 15 minutes in length or longer was associated with better teacher's rating of class behavior scores. This study suggests that schoolchildren in this age group should be provided with daily recess.

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