Like many major school districts in the US, schools administrators in Washington DC are cutting back on recess time in order to make room for more instruction time in classrooms. In DC, the decision to cut recess to only 15 minutes was met with anger and many parents voicing strong opinion that kids need more time to be active, as reported by the Washington Post.
Research conducted by a multitude of experts, most recently the Mathmatica Policy Research shows that children are able to focus and preform better when they are given the chance to go be active throughout the day, a fact that should surprise no one who has spent more than 30 minutes with your average eight year old.
The CDC recommends that a child be active for 60 minutes everyday. In some neighborhoods in DC and throughout the US, it truly isn’t safe enough to play outside after school, especially since 3:00-6:00 PM is the most dangerous time of day in places where gangs are active. For some kids, taking away the opportunity for activity during school hours substantially decreases their opportunity to meet agreed upon minimums, which can lead to many undesireable health outcomes.