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Recess: No Longer Just for Kids

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative focuses on fighting childhood obesity and she encourages people of all ages to incorporate a little more physical activity into their daily routine, reminding us that recess is just as important for adults, since you are a role model for your child. Studies show that recess is crucial to healthy childhood development and that there is no reason to stop taking physically active breaks just because we can no longer hang from a jungle gym or play tag with classmates.

Last week I made a promise, just like thousands of people in cities all over the country have this summer—a promise to be part of KEEN’s Recess Revolution. As Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s Councilor on America’s Great Outdoors, I have spent many years enjoying and working to improve America’s outdoor spaces, and have learned first-hand that workplace wellness starts outside of the office. Like many Americans, my job can be stressful, but that stress can be alleviated by taking some time out of the office – just ten minutes will do it -- to re-energize my body and mind. It works better and is healthier than caffeine! 

A major focus on my work at the Department of the Interior is finding ways to make it easier for Americans to get outside and enjoy nature. If asked 20 years ago, I would never think that I’d be at a point in my life where I’d have to pledge to take active breaks, especially considering some of my favorite things to do are outdoor activities like canoeing, biking and hiking. But now, with the numerous responsibilities that compete for time– family, work, friends--10 minutes a day is something I have to strive for.

We have some incredible national parks, forests, and other public lands in this country. Even if you cannot get to these places often, I hope you will take advantage of local parks, playgrounds, school fields and public courts to ensure that healthy lifestyles are not compromised due to busy schedules. Look for other ways to get active.

Will Shafroth