No, recess should not replace physical education classes or be used to meet time requirements set forth in physical education policies. Recess can, however, be used to integrate physical activity during the school day.
How can active recess be implemented in elementary schools?
Strategies to implement active recess in elementary schools should include:
Providing age-appropriate equipment for students.
Having adult recess supervisors encourage student to be physically active.
Providing semi-structured activity that involves activity stations (e.g., jump rope, four square, hopscotch stations).
At the middle and high school levels, physical activity breaks, similar to recess, can be scheduled and implemented during the school day. For example, physical activity may be included during advisory periods, home room periods, exploratory and enrichment classes, elective selections, and as transitions between classes.
Examples of activities include:
Taking a 5-minute stretch break.
Marching in place.
Jumping with an invisible jump rope.
Doing semi-squats followed by knee lifts.
Taking 2-3 laps around or throughout the classroom.
How much time is adequate for recess?
Recess in elementary schools should be scheduled for at least 20 minutes per day.
Can moving between classes be considered a PA break?
No, physical activity breaks are recess, classroom-based physical activity, or drop-in recess.
How can PA be integrated into classroom lessons?
Teachers can integrate physical activity within classrooms as part of planned lessons that teach mathematics, language arts, social studies, and other academic subjects. Movement can increase students’ overall physical activity and improve time-on-task and attentiveness.
How long should classroom PA breaks be?
Breaks can occur at any time during the school day, last from 5–30 minutes, and can occur all at one time or several times during the school day.