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Study Finds Recess Recharge for Kids

The NY Times has an article this week on how “involuntary attention” such as being in a park or children going out for recess during school hours can foster better learning, health and development. Turns out, not so shockingly, that we need to recharge every once in a while. Sitting in front of a computer, inside a classroom or office all day is best accompanied by a break: a walk in the park, sitting on a bench during lunch, and for kids, as the article illustrates, going outside for recess (as the research is showing):

A study published this month in the journal Pediatrics studied the links between recess and classroom behavior among about 11,000 children age 8 and 9. Those who had more than 15 minutes of recess a day showed better behavior in class than those who had little or none. Although disadvantaged children were more likely to be denied recess, the association between better behavior and recess time held up even after researchers controlled for a number of variables, including sex, ethnicity, public or private school and class size……… [Says lead researcher, Dr. Romina M. Barros of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine] “We should understand that kids need that break because the brain needs that break.”

All the more reason why schoolyards in our cities should look like this:

NYC Playground After

Rather than this:

NYC Playground Before, Photos: Julieth Rivera

NYC Playground Before, Photos: Julieth Rivera