Bring back recess!

By • Published: January 26th, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

You’re stuck at your desk on a Friday afternoon, and you just can’t concentrate on that big project with the looming deadline. Your back aches from sitting all week. Outside your window, it’s a beautiful day. Your mind drifts back to elementary school, when there was a time for play and physical activity saddled in between classes. What happened to recess? Who says adults don’t need some exercise and a change of pace midday?

A professor at the University of California, Los Angeles has developed Instant Recess, a program meant to bring more physical activity into workplaces, schools, churches and other community institutions. Instant Recess is a ten-minute program of basic aerobic-type moves that get participants’ blood pumping and their bodies working. The moves are meant to be done as a group… with an entire office participating at once, for example.

None of the moves are too tough, making them perfect for a group of people of mixed ages and fitness levels. And, they’re practical even for a business where suits are standard attire.

The program’s developer says this kind of midday workout, even if it’s only for ten minutes, can help lift employees’ moods, increase productivity and decrease injuries on the job. It also can lower workers’ risks of serious health problems, such as heart disease or diabetes.

And there’s nothing wrong with breaking up your workout into smaller chunks, as long as the total time you exercise doesn’t slip. While you still should be active outside the office, incorporating more movement into your day can help lessen the time you spend sitting like a lump in your office chair.

Who knows… with recess back, you might even feel a little bit like a kid again.