Afternoon breaks can make children fitter and learn not to decrease (stock)

Children who have a lunch break at school are fitter and perform just as well in exams & # 39; despite fear that too much playing time threatens their learning process

  • Researchers at Swansea University looked at 5,000 primary school students
  • The children who had & # 39; noon play time were able to continue running
  • They also performed equally well in their math and English assessments

Afternoon breaks can make children fitter and not deprive learning, research suggests.

Researchers at Swansea University looked at more than 5,000 primary school students from across Wales.

They found that those who had & noon play time, as well as a morning and lunch break, could continue running.

This is compared to the young people who only had morning and afternoon breaks.


Critics claim that too many breaks take away time in the classroom. However, the researchers also discovered that the children who spent longer on the playground performed equally well academically.

Afternoon breaks can make children fitter and learn not to decrease (stock)

Afternoon breaks can make children fitter and learn not to decrease (stock)

Afternoon breaks were once a standard part of a child's school day, academics wrote behind the study The conversation.

However, concerns about poor behavior and a lack of time in class means that they are now few.

This is despite studies that show that playing time can play a crucial role in the development of a child.

For more information, the researchers looked at 5,232 students who had visited 56 elementary schools throughout Wales as part of their HAPPEN project (Health and achieved students in a primary education network).


Of these students, 1,413 (27 percent) had no lunch break.

Perhaps surprisingly, those from affluent areas were the most missed, with 36 percent not having a & # 39; timeout & # 39; had.

This is compared to 28 percent of the least-favored children and 17 to 20 percent of those in the & # 39; middle group & # 39 ;.

The youngsters who were able to run around in the afternoon were fitter, with both boys and girls running further and more & # 39; could do rounds in the beep test.


Elaine Wyllie, senior teacher at St. Ninian Elementary School in Stirling, founded the Daily Mile to offer children a simple, inexpensive way to incorporate exercise into their daily activities.


These are students who leave the classroom for 15 minutes each day for walking, jogging or running a mile by walking around the playground several times.

Individual teachers decide when to record the activity in the school day, what is done in addition to PE lessons and does not replace the exercise while playing.

Ms. Wyllie claims to have seen firsthand that the initiative improves both children's health and their concentration.

The Scottish government encourages schools to accept the Daily Mile scheme, but has no plans to make it mandatory.

According to the Daily Mile Foundation, more than 2,265 British schools participate in the initiative, which has also been adopted by 3,600 schools worldwide.


In terms of academic performance, the children who worked through the afternoon did not perform better in their maths and English Key Stage 2 evaluations than those who took an extra break. Key Stage 2 is given to children from seven to 11 years old.

However, those who had a lunch break were more likely to report behavioral problems, such as losing their temper, being violent, or deliberately breaking things.

These young people also had more emotional problems, such as feeling lonely or as if nobody likes them.

Previous studies suggest that break time is most likely for children to argue during the school day.

When the HAPPEN team asked the children how they could be happier, some said they would like everyone to get along with each other & # 39; However, most responded with more time and space to play.


The researchers emphasize that interactions are important for the & # 39; broader social development & # 39; of a child, but it is important to have a & # 39; positive environment & # 39; to create.

& # 39; If these breaks are to be given in more schools, more support is needed to help schools make sure that playing is meaningful, inclusive and encouraging for positive social relationships & # 39 ;, they wrote in The Conversation.

& # 39; Maybe afternoon playing times are the perfect time for independent activities.

& # 39; This could help children gain the benefits of better physical health and perhaps help them cope with some of the problems associated with playing in the afternoon. & # 39;

Some have called game workers to oversee breaks rather than teachers.

Others claim that a range of activities should be available to children during their & # 39; leisure time & # 39; instead of just & # 39; unstructured play & # 39 ;.

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