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Group promotes active recess

Mon., March 9, 2009

Kids used to spend recess reaching for the sky on swings or hanging off the jungle gym. But that has changed.

“In some cases, recess may be on the books or on the schedule,” says Charlene Burgeson, executive director of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, but “more schools are using it as extra time to study for tested subjects.”

Her group recommends that elementary school kids get at least one 20-minute recess period per day.

Recess encourages kids to learn social skills, exercise their imagination with unstructured activities and actively play, which may curb obesity. Further, a study published last month in the journal Pediatrics found that children behave better in the classroom if they have recess.

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