Throughout much of North America, there is a growing trend to shorten or even do away with recess entirely, in order to find more time to teach academics. In some classrooms, some teachers use recess as a reward for good behavior and the withdrawal of it as a punishment for poor marks or poor behavior. But now the American Academy of Pediatrics, has released a new policy statement stating that recess should never be withdrawn from children.
Recess provides a healthy holistic break which is needed for healthy development. Children who have regular unstructured breaks throughout the day perform better in the classroom and that can lead to higher grades. Recess also provides many social and emotional benefits.
And while recess and unstructured play-breaks provide health benefits in the form of exercise and fresh air, recess should never be a replacement for physical education classes that are also needed. Overall, keeping kids active is a must and recess can be a part of that goal.
Source: Washington Post, Jan. 7, 2013