Oregon State University Study Finds High-Quality Recess Positively Impacts Student Behaviors

  1. Updates

A recent study by the Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Services found that high-quality recess contributes to the executive function, emotional self-control, resilience, and positive classroom behavior in elementary school children. While past studies explored the benefits related to the amount of recess time, this is the first study to address the benefits based on the overall quality of recess. As a result, the primary purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between recess quality and social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes in children.

Researchers found that high-quality recess significantly predicted the following student behaviors:
  • Executive functioning: the cognitive skills that help a child focus attention, remember details, solve problems, and make plans.
  • Resilience: the ability to overcome adversity, quickly recover from mistakes, cope with change, and solve problems.
  • Emotional self-control: the ability to resist immediate temptations and avoid acting on impulse in response to environmental changes.
  • Positive classroom behavior: adaptability, functional communication, leadership, social skills, and study skills.

By gaining a better understanding of the value of a high-quality recess, this study highlighted the importance of an increased focus on how to support students so that they engage in beneficial and meaningful ways on the playground.

Read more

More Updates


May 25, 2021

Recess Reboot at the Guilmette Elementary School ›

Playworks knows that recess is one of the most critical opportunities for students to be physically active, build core social-emotional skills, and build relationships with their peers. However, recess can often be a source of stress and chaos for schools – especially in light of new guidelines and restrictions due to COVID-19. For some added…

Principal Coleen Smith
Principal Coleen Smith

May 24, 2021

Recess Rocks in RI prioritizes Rhode Island students’ health and well-being throughout COVID-19 crisis ›

Recess Champions program recognizes educators who have made play a priority   Recess Rocks in Rhode Island, a six-year old partnership of Playworks New England, the Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition (RIHSC) and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), has launched an initiative to recognize school professionals who have made it a priority…

May 21, 2021

Six Boston Schools Receive $25,000 in Wellness Grants After Helping Get Boston Back in Motion ›

More Than 3,000 Students Participate in Month-Long Effort Aimed at Improving Health and Well-Being of Youth BOSTON  – Boston Back in Motion, an effort to get young people across Boston to stay active as schools transition back to in-person learning, on Friday awarded six Boston schools a total of $25,000 in wellness grants for participating…