Posts tagged Activity Breaks: A Promising Strategy for Keeping Children Physically Active at School
Only one in four U.S. public elementary schools offered students physical activity breaks apart from physical education class and recess during the 2009–11 school years, according to a new report.
The report, Activity Breaks: A Promising Strategy for Keeping Children Physically Active at School by the Bridging the Gap program, examined the percentage of schools that provide physical activity breaks, including breaks for stretching, yoga, and other movement during and between classroom activities, outside of P.E. class and recess. It also considered the type and total duration of breaks and explored whether the use of activity breaks varies by school characteristics or by provision of other opportunities for activity.
Although most schools do not offer activity breaks, evidence suggests that students and teachers may benefit from such breaks.
Students in schools that offered physical activity breaks received an average of almost 40 minutes per week in such breaks. Previous studies have shown that offering students activity breaks during classes increases their levels of physical activity. Studies also confirm that allocating school time for physical activity does not adversely affect students’ academic performance. Further, scheduling brief activity breaks could be a promising strategy for promoting physical activity during the school day without creating additional challenges for teachers, administrators and students.