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December 10, 2008

Americans want schools to take recess seriously

Americans overwhelmingly believe that schools have a major role to play in advancing the health of our nation’s kids, and they are specifically concerned about the lack of recess and physical activity in schools, according to new polling results released today by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s leading public-health foundation and Sports4Kids, a national nonprofit that brings safe and healthy playtime to low-income elementary schools.

This survey represents the most up-to-date overview of public attitudes on recess in schools and helps to explain the growing momentum of public support to make play and physical activity an essential part of the school day. It also reveals that Americans intuitively understand the critical relationship between our health and where and how we live, work, learn and play, and that the physical and social environment in our schools have an outsized impact on the health of our kids.

Some key findings from the survey include:

  • Nearly four out of five parents believe that children aren’t getting enough physical playtime on a daily basis.
  • Seven out of 10 Americans disagree with schools’ policies of eliminating or reducing recess time for budgetary, safety or academic reasons.
  • An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that recess serves many important functions for both students and teachers. For example, 91 percent believe that having a break with physical activity helps children stay focused and learn in the classroom.

Read the polling results.

the buzz in play, recess, studies