Navigation Links
Adding Recess to the Workday Gains Backers

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Think recess, and you'll probably smile. What wasn't to like about a break in the school day set aside for running and playing, for friends and fun?

Now fast-forward to your adult life. What if your workplace started offering recess on the job?

Some medical experts think it's not only a good idea but possibly one of the most solid tactics dreamed up for getting an increasingly out-of-shape America up and moving.

Adult recess would involve a 10-minute break in the workday, when employees would be led through a series of fun routines involving dance and sports-like moves.

The idea may be catching on. Employer-sponsored exercise is a big part of the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan, a cooperative effort by a number of health and fitness organizations to promote physical activity in public settings such as businesses, schools and churches. Partners include the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Heart Association, the YMCA and the AARP.

"When we can build physical activity into an easy, achievable part of our day, it's a lot less daunting for people," said Allison Kleinfelter, a consultant with the National Physical Activity Plan. The program, she said, "is looking at changing places where we live and work to support physical activity."

The benefit of adult recess hinges on physical activity guidelines put out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which recommend that all adults receive at least 150 minutes of exercise each week, Kleinfelter said.

But a person doesn't need to stack up those minutes during just a few sessions, according to the guidelines, because moderate or vigorous effort will benefit overall health even if each session is as short as 10 minutes.

One work site where adult recess has been implemented is Latino Health Access, a nonprofit group in Santa Ana, Calif. Many of the 55 workers there participate in a 20-minute walk every other day and daily 15-minute aerobics classes, said Alejandro Espinoza, the group's chronic disease program coordinator.

The benefits have been terrific, he said. Workers feel more energetic and focused and are less likely to feel lethargic in the afternoon.

"They look forward to it," he said. "I'm one of the exercise team leaders. They come and tell me, 'Alex, it's time to do our exercise.' "

Businesses in Japan have been doing this sort of thing for years, but Kleinfelter said it's been tough to sell Americans on the idea of doing jumping jacks and other calisthenics.

Enter a program called "Instant Recess," developed by Dr. Antronette K. Yancey, a professor in the department of health services at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health and co-director of the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity.

"Instant Recess sounds just like we want it to be -- something that can be done by anybody at any time in any attire," Yancey said.

The 10-minute Instant Recess programs feature different sets of moves taken from dance and sports and performed to music.

"They are crafted to be moves that anyone can do," Yancey said. "We have a set of specifications that try to keep this something that a person who is sedentary or overweight can do fairly easily."

A lot of the moves are similar to sports, she said. One, called the "Heisman move," has participants replicate the move featured on the Heisman trophy, awarded each year to the top collegiate football player. Another, called the "tipoff," is a squat-and-jump move much like what basketball players do during the opening tipoff of a game.

"I found that eye-rolling occurs mostly at the beginning," Yancey said. "People aren't sure what to expect, and it seems a little hokey. What happens is people, after the first few minutes, start smiling, start laughing, start engaging with each other, egging each other on."

Yancey said she developed Instant Recess based on research that found that it's very difficult for people to commit to an exercise routine for any length of time. They find it daunting to commit as much as a half-hour to exercise, and the hassle of going to a gym or other place to work out adds one more obstacle to regular exercise.

And though 10 minutes may not seem like much, Kleinfelter and Yancey said that that amount of vigorous exercise can contribute greatly to your health.

"In terms of immediate benefit, most people experience improvement in mood and energy," Yancey said, noting that people feel relaxed and sharper after an Instant Recess session. But as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day also can help prevent weight gain and head off diabetes, and Yancey said her research has found that productivity increased and workplace injuries decreased at businesses where Instant Recess has been implemented.

Even people who are physically active can get something out of a little recess at work, Kleinfelter said.

"A lot of research is showing that people who exercise often sit for as much as 90 percent of their day," she said. "That can be just as negative because you're sitting for extended periods of time. This gives you a chance to get up and move."

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on the benefits of exercise.

SOURCES: Allison Kleinfelter, consultant, National Physical Activity Plan, Washington, D.C.; Antronette K. Yancey, M.D., M.P.H., professor, department of health services, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, and co-director, UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity, Los Angeles; Alejandro Espinoza, chronic disease program coordinator, Latino Health Access, Santa Ana, Calif.

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Ellsworth Adhesives Is Adding PRC Rapid Seal Product Line Offering
2. Adding Surgery to Meds May Improve Life With Parkinsons
3. Alzheimers Association Applauds Social Security Administration for Adding Early-Onset Alzheimers to Its Compassionate Allowances Initiative
4. Even Before Recession, 14 Million Kids Underinsured: Study
5. Number of uninsured in California counties grew during recession
6. Recession Causing Cancer Patients to Quit Life-Extending Drugs
7. Is the current recession compromising hospital quality?
8. Professional Web Design Agency Discovers Winning Web Development Formula for Beating the Recession.
9. Brooklyn Fitness Boot Camp Fights Recession, Improves Lives and Supports Community with "Service First: Fitness at Any Price" Business Model
10. Recession May Mean Fewer Nips & Tucks
11. Recession Buster for Small Businesses: Website Design and Search Engine Optimization on a Shoestring
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Adding Recess to the Workday Gains Backers
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and are derived from ... of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary in the current ... For the full issue, click here . , For the American Society of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Cary, North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... the release of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of ... harvested for centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes for ... Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , AIR ... care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers will ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures ... . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has dedicated ... has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The procedure ... doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ITASCA, Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling ... states are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan ... , a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the ... rating to only four states – Kentucky , ... and Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Issue 52" report to their offering. ... treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. ... base that will serve to drive considerable growth for effective ... serve to cap sales considerably, but development is still in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations headquartered in Bogota. ... ... ... ... Astellas is a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: