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The Case for Increasing Recess Time in Middle Schools

As a middle school student, I know firsthand how important recess is. It’s not just a break from class; it’s a crucial component of our school day. And based on conversations with my peers, it’s clear that many others feel the same way. That’s why I believe it’s time to consider increasing recess time in middle schools across the globe.

The Benefits of Prolonged Recess Time

First and foremost, increasing recess time has been shown to have a positive impact on academic performance. A study from the University of Illinois found that students who had more time for physical activity during the school day had higher academic achievement than those who did not. Additionally, recess has been shown to improve problem-solving skills, creativity, and focus. When students have the opportunity to play outside and engage in unstructured activities, they are better equipped to tackle complex academic challenges.

In addition to the academic benefits, increased recess time also has positive effects on physical and mental health. More time for physical activity means students are more likely to be active and healthy, which can have positive effects on weight, blood pressure, and other health markers. Moreover, recess provides students with a much-needed break from the stresses of the school day, reducing anxiety and boosting overall mental health. By prioritizing student health, we can create a happier, more engaged, and more successful school community.

Overcoming the Challenges

Of course, there are challenges to increasing recess time. One concern may be that students will have less time for academic instruction, but research shows that the positive effects of recess actually translate to increased focus and academic engagement. Additionally, schools may face logistical challenges in scheduling and supervision, but these are not insurmountable obstacles. By prioritizing the health and wellbeing of students, schools can find creative solutions to overcome these hurdles and ultimately create an environment that fosters student success.

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In conclusion, I strongly believe that increasing recess time in middle schools is a necessary step towards creating a school environment that supports student success. From academic performance to physical and mental health, the benefits of recess are well-documented and undeniable. By allocating more time for play and physical activity, we can create students who are better equipped to tackle academic challenges and who are happier and healthier overall.

Key Takeaways

  • Increasing recess time has positive effects on academic performance, physical health, and mental health.
  • Research has shown that more time for play and physical activity leads to increased focus and academic engagement.
  • While there may be logistical challenges to increasing recess time, these obstacles can be overcome through creative solutions and a strong commitment to student success.


Q: Won’t increased recess time take away from valuable academic instruction?A: While it’s true that time is a limited resource in schools, research has shown that increasing recess time can actually boost academic performance and engagement. Plus, students who are healthier and more engaged overall are more likely to succeed in all areas of life.

Q: Won’t it be difficult to supervise students during longer recesses?A: Any time a change is implemented in schools, there are bound to be challenges. However, schools can find creative solutions to logistical challenges through collaboration and innovative thinking. Additionally, the benefits of increased recess time make it a worthwhile endeavor that is sure to pay off in the long run.

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