Anxiety, the Brain and Exercise

Anxiety, the Brain and Exercise

By Aaron Dungca Needham Teacher

Student cognitive benefits from academic breaks, by researcher, Jarrett, O.S. (2002), found that in order to function efficiently, the brain needs a period of down time to recycle chemicals crucial for long term memory formation. This down time for memory development involves a 90-110 minute cyclical turnover (Jarrett, O. S. 2002). Recess for some children might be the only time they can engage in social interactions in which they choose who to associate with, under non structured settings. These types of arenas promote a double ended societal upbringing. On the positive spectrum, the structure of recess allowed children to design and implement their own rules and objectives for their games; aiding students in building essential character traits such as confidence, leadership, communication, and self-advocacy. On the other hand, Jarrett (2002) suggested the freedom of recess does have a negative connotation, which would be the extremist actions of a bully, aggressive emotions, or social isolation. As a result, through various studies, it has been proven that the best intervention and usage for recess required staff members to allow children to choose their games and provide them with a safe, monitored space to participate in those chosen activities. This can limit the actions of aggression and promote positive interactions by the very nature of children’s tendency to follow adult instructions (Verstraete, S. J. 2006). In conclusion with the various studies, it is clear that more research is needed to examine the correlation of recess and student academic improvements related to assessments. However, researches did confirm through their studies that students improved in other areas pertaining to the academia and character building such as demonstrating appropriate classroom behavior, establishing positive social interactions among fellow peers, and promote cognitive development in regards to problem solving and becoming innovative thinkers.

Trudeau, F., & Shephard, R. J. (2008). Physical education, school physical activity, school sports and academic performance. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 5(1), 1.

Verstraete, S. J., Cardon, G. M., De Clercq, D. L., & De Bourdeaudhuij, I. M. (2006). Increasing children’s physical activity levels during recess periods in elementary schools: the effects of providing game equipment. The European Journal of Public Health, 16(4), 415-419.

Occupations Aaron Dungca Needham Teacher had included being a football and basketball coach, boating director, wellness teacher, physical education adjunct instructor, marketing associate, and a technology associate. Aaron Dungca has also coached for organizations that featured NFL players, such as Julian Edelman. He sponsored a two-day youth football fundamentals camp that brought in 20-30 coaches from the state of Massachusetts and lead young people to learn new skills and meet Julian Edelman at the end of the camp experience.

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