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


August 1, 2022

2021-22 Year End Report ›

After two years of isolation and adapted schooling, our students and staff spent a full year together in school buildings. We continued innovating to meet the needs of students, schools, and partners. Our return to in-person events was filled with joy, and throughout it all, bringing the healing power of play to students across New…

parent playing with kids outside
parent playing with kids outside

July 21, 2022

Games to play at home this summer ›

Are you looking for games to play at home using only things found around your house? Look no further! In case you haven’t heard – school’s out for summer! With long stretches of hot days still to come, you might be looking forward to playing some new games with your family or people in your…

coach writing letter
coach writing letter

June 22, 2022

Playworks AmeriCorps Coaches’ end of year reflections ›

Being an AmeriCorps Coach at Playworks is no small feat. Throughout the year, you are asked to complete 1,700 hours of service. Weekend service projects are common, you recruit and coach students for a basketball extravaganza, and you’re encouraged to spend a lot of time reflecting on why you chose to do a year of…