Recess is a Good Idea for High School Students, Too


Ben Watson

A playground in Annandale. Many students used to hang out at playgrounds like this one when they were younger.

When we think of recess, we often think of the fun we had in elementary school. But why should the fun and benefits of recess stop once we reach high school? As someone who has gone without recess for six years now, I believe that high schools should continue to offer recess to their students even after elementary school.

One of the biggest arguments against recess in high school is that students have less free time due to their time-consuming academic schedules. However, studies conducted by the University of Illinois have shown that taking breaks throughout the day can actually increase productivity and focus. After hours of lectures and note-taking, students can benefit from taking a break to re-focus themselves and get moving.

On top of this, recess can give students time to get more physical activity. Physical activity during recess has been linked to positive mental health outcomes. Exercise releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce stress. With the growing number of high school students struggling with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, providing opportunities for physical activity during the school day can be incredibly beneficial.

As well, recess can provide students with social and emotional benefits. School can be a stressful environment, and a break for socializing and activity can improve social connections and reduce feelings of loneliness. This can be especially important for students who may not have as many opportunities for social interaction outside of school.

I believe that high schools should offer recess to their students. The positive impact of physical activity and social interaction during the school day cannot be ignored. Providing opportunities for activity and movement can improve mental health, increase productivity, and improve social connections. We need to bring back recess and give high school students the break they deserve.