Image: D. Sharon Pruitt via Flickr/CCL
I thought it was bad enough when one of my kids came home and told me they weren't allowed to talk anymore at lunchtime, but I never thought I'd see the day when kids couldn't run around at recess! According to a recent blog post on Parenting.com, that's exactly what's happening in one (unnamed) school district.
Unfortunately, neither Parenting.com's post or the original source of the story, a post on Free Range Kids, has any information about the reasoning behind the "no running" policy, but I can't think of anything that would override a child's need to regulate his body in order to regulate his mind for learning.
As the About.com Guide to Family Fitness, Catherine, points out in her article Teach the Importance of Activity, exercise "feeds" the brain and releases endorphins that help everyone perform at optimal levels.
Add to that the fact that an increasing number of children (1 in 88) have an Autism Spectrum Disorder and untold numbers of children in classrooms have dysfunction in sensory regulation, disorders in which physical regulation is closely tied to emotional regulation, and not allowing kids to run at recess could actually be detrimental to more than just one child's learning.
In fact, in an article in Psychology Today, arguing against taking away recess as a punishment, Drs. Michael Otto and Jasper Smits stated: "Research indicates that even 15 minutes of post-lunch exercise can improve cognitive performance that very school day."
Of course, the school in question isn't taking away recess, but they are severely limiting the way children are being allowed to exercise. What would you do if this happened in your child's school?