Students need daily breaks for physical activity, to help us recharge
According to a study conducted by the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia, a break, particularly a involving some sort of physical activity, increases learning, productivity, and brain function.
All through elementary school, recess was a key part of the day. Recess helped us stay more focused and calm for the remainder of the day. In middle school, we had Physical Education (PE) class at least twice a week. We were told by teachers that if we were struggling with homework, to go for a run or play outside or take a break and do something active before returning to the work.
The high school physical education courses have been all but cut in favor of more class time. Instead of increasing class time at the expense of PE, the school should cut other programs so that students could have activity crucial to functioning at a high brain capacity.
Our entire PE experience is limited to one semester taken sophomore year called Adventure Challenge. It mostly consists of non-active team building activities, which do have their place, but should not be an excuse to do away with the physical activity that high school students need so much. Even if the Adventure Challenge program was a more physically active course, the fact remains that students only take it for one eighth of their total high school experience.
That means that majority of the time students are expected to remain focused throughout the whole six and half hour school day with only one short 30 minute lunch break.
A high school in Montpelier, Vermont experimented with the idea of a short, 15 minute recess and it brought tremendous results. The students responded that this break made them feel more relaxed, productive, and better able to focus in school.
Teachers also reported feeling refreshed as well as seeing positive changes in class behavior and attentiveness.
Despite all of the studies, research, and input from students, ARHS does not have enough PE and or recess.
ARHS has been steadily cutting back on the PE program.
In the early 2000’s, PE was offered every day and eight PE teachers split time between the middle and high schools.
That number has dwindled drastically, and now there are only four PE teachers at ARHS.
Now is the perfect time to implement a recess or break.
Even something as short as 15 minutes would prove to be very beneficial.