Disappearing Recess Implications – Ben Hirshberg

Give the Brain a Break

  • The opportunity for physical activity as well as the break that recess provides is crucial for the development and function of the human brain. Physical activity aids in long-term memory formation and memory recall is improved when learning is spaced out. This is believed to be because recess can provide a break for the brain, giving an opportunity for the brain to re-focus. The reason the brain needs to refocus is because the human brain operates on cycles, and at “down” portions of the cycles the brain needs a rest. This shows why the human brain does not do well at continuous, high level attention. Dr. Faber Taylor sums it up well in a 2009 New York Times article by saying, “All human beings experience attentional fatigue…Our attention needs to be restored from that fatigue”. A break from high level attention and physical activity has positive effects on not only the human brain, but the human body as well.
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