According to Today, a school in Fort Worth, Texas, decided to try out LiiNK, a new program that boosts the amount of recess for younger students. The experiment consisted of four 15-minute breaks, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. Teachers were concerned about this experiment due to the shorten time of lesson during the day, but to their surprise the results after a five month try out were good.
Kids were more focused and listened more attentively. Disciplinary issues decreased and kids were more willing to solve problems on their own without having to go to the teacher first for help.
Just as adults have a hard time concentrating and working their best when they are stuck in a cube or conference room all day, kids confined to a chair most of the day also become become less focus and more jittery. Kids need to move around and be outdoors more. Studies have shown that going for a short walk or just stepping outside in contact with nature for a few minutes a day helps kids’ health and development.
The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees, calling recess “a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development. Studies show it offers important cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits, yet many schools are cutting down on breaks to squeeze in more lessons, which may be counterproductive, it warns.
Child obesity has more than doubled the last 20 years, ADHD medications have increased tremendously in the United States, making us the number one in the world consumer of such and even pediatric prescriptions for antidepressants have risen.
Spending time outside raises level of vitamin D which helps protect children from future bone problems, heart disease, diabetes and other health issues. Stress levels fall within minutes of seeing green spaces.
Kids need connection to the natural world not only to be physically healthy but emotionally as well.
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