Strategies for RECESS in Schools

Recess helps students to achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity that can improve strength and endurance; enhance academic achievement; and increase self-esteem for children and adolescents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SHAPE America have developed new guidance documents that provide schools with 19 evidence-based strategies for recess, as well as a planning guide and template to help develop a written recess plan that integrates these strategies.
Provided daily, along with effective health and physical education classes, recess supports SHAPE  America’s 50 Million Strong commitment to empower all kids to lead active and healthy lives.
Listen to the Mike Pintek radio Show on KDKA-AM Pittsburgh as he interviews SHAPE America's Senior Program Manager Michelle Carter on recess.

Here's how to get started

Recess Is a Critical Part of the School Day
Monitored by trained staff or volunteers, recess encourages students in grades K-12 to be physically active and engaged in activities of their choice.

Who Will Benefit From These Resources?
State and school district leaders who provide technical assistance and professional development on recess, as well as:
  • classroom teachers
  • recess and playground supervisors
  • support staff
  • school administrators
  • parent-teacher organizations
  • school health coordinators
  • advisory councils
  • parents


Funding for resources for recess was made possible in part by cooperative agreement award number 1U58DP003220 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

5 Strategies for Recess Planning

Create your active school environment