While the research shows that it’s critical for children to play, Jarrett stresses that the positive impacts of recess can be maximized–if only schools would the the timing right.

The problem: Many schools (including Tyler’s elementary school in Philadephia) schedule recess before or after lunch, or as the last class of the day.

Jarrett says, “Those aren’t the best times, because both lunch and recess should be used to form breaks in the day.”

Think about it: For a working adult, that’s like scheduling one 15 minute coffee break immediately before lunch and the second 15 minutes before you are scheduled to go home.