Frantic relaxation and the benefits of breaktime

By Loyiso Gxothiwe

One of the only times I remember not being annoyed about being forced to go outside as a kid was breaktime. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the great outdoors and school for the most part so I was not looking for a reason to escape work. However, it turns out I had a reason for waiting on the bell to ring with such longing.

I was to find out that the frantic “relaxation” I got as soon as I ran out of class was not only good for me and my schoolwork but my teachers too.

According to The Whole Child Blog, physical education and activity are not only good for healthy bodies but are also good for the work children do in class that may not need physicality.

Not all learners are good at or even interested in sports so school sport programs sometimes end up catering to a few who may be exceptional or athletically-inclined. Breaktime opens this up to those who might feel embarrassed to engage in physical activity in a competitive environment. Most children are encouraged to take part in games that they are not good at in social settings as the goal is not to master dribbling or pacing but to just have plain and, as it turns out, beneficial fun.

The benefits of 20–30 minutes of physical activity per day include increased discipline, cooperation, attention skills and social interactivity. Another benefit is the increased blood flow which could make learners more energised to get back to their work.

Moreover, a systematic review of 50 studies found that there is a positive link between physical activity and academic performance. So what your parents and teacher’s pleadings won’t make you do, a game of soccer or skipping rope might unknowingly easily achieve.

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