February 7, 2010; Huffington Post |

With Michelle Obama taking on the issue of childhood obesity, maybe the issue of disappearing school recesses will surface and people will get organized to take it on more energetically. I have a five year old in the Boston School system and so I have a stake in seeing this situation change but we should all be saddened that the average amount of time spent in recess for kids has decreased to an average of 22 minutes a day. This article in the Huffington Post refers to a study on recess published in the Journal of Pediatrics in early 2009 which highlights the decrease in free time and playtime for kids since the 1970s as well as a the Robert Wood Johnson-funded report State of Play; Gallup of Survey of Principals on School Recess. The article also refers to another study on the importance of recess funded by the Open Society Institute. Both foundation-funded studies link to a nonprofit called Playworks, formerly Sports4Kids, that works in urban schools to increase quality playtime.—Kristin Barrali