CDC to release new recommendations for recess and physical activ - – Rockford’s News Leader

CDC to release new recommendations for recess and physical activity in schools


Summer can be a busy time of year for families - with kids playing sports, going to camps and other activities.  

When class is back in session this fall-- you might notice a difference when it comes to your child's schedule.

A federal agency is looking to make major changes to recess, so kids stay active all year - and all day long.

Kids typically have plenty of energy, which parents and guardians say can be great for the playground and even helps in the classroom.

"It's hard to keep him focused but if you have that break in between then it's an opportunity for him to replenish himself and then go back and do the things that he needs to do," said Raul Menchaca, a Rockford resident and guardian of a 6-year-old.

Menchaca says his 6-year-old grandson Cameron gets fidgety during class time, so having a recess break is important for his learning.

"At his age, he's in Kindergarten, so he talks a lot about recess and what he does and the games he plays and I think it's important for him to do that because imagination and creativity go with that," Menchaca said.

Nationwide, plans are in the works to change the way recess is organized in elementary schools.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is teaming up with Shape America - an organization made up of health professionals - to come up with new recess guidelines.

The goal is to figure out ways to keep kids active in and out of class.

Some changes could focus on the timing of playtime, such as making recess at least 30 minutes long, having it take place 20 minutes before lunch, or making time for several 10 minute physical activity breaks throughout the day.

According to the CDC - studies show active kids get better grades. And experts agree -- kids should get 60 minutes of aerobic activity every day including recess and during classroom lessons.

Menchaca says this could be helpful for more than just the kids.

"Teachers now a days do that, they teach the kids and they have a little break in between the teaching and then they do some activity, they walk around, they stretch," Menchaca said.

New recess guidelines aren't set in stone yet. Right now the CDC is just gathering recommendations, but it's going to be a busy summer break for these agencies.

New rules are slated to go into effect this upcoming 2016-2017 school year.

The CDC and Shape America plan to also have new suggestions for activity for middle and high school students. 

13 News reached out to District 205 for its thoughts on recess changes, but we were unable to get a comment.

For more information about CDC health and physical activity guidelines for students, click here.

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