Brain Breaks in the Classroom: Beneficial or Detrimental?

What are Brain Breaks?

By: Brittany Lapierre

By: USAG- Humphreys

Brain breaks are mental breaks designed to help students stay focused and attend. The brain breaks get students moving to carry blood and oxygen to the brain. The breaks energize or relax. The breaks provide processing time for students to solidify their learning (Jensen) (adapted from Alison Newman)

Why Brain Breaks?

When kids enter Kindergarten, the academic demands greatly increase. This ultimately leads to prolonged sitting which can impact the learning of students due to decreased attention and ability to focus.

What are the benefits?

  • Strengthen social skills
  • Develop perseverance
  • Improve cognitive skills
  • Reduce stress
  • Increase productivity
  • Increase brain function

How Often Should Brain Breaks be Performed?

Students should engage in several Brain Breaks throughout their school day and should take any opportunity to be active in different ways. Some ways that movement can be integrated into the classroom on top of brain breaks are listed as follows:

  • Pass out papers
  • Walk to get a drink
  • Bring a note to the office
  • Incorporate a game into content
  • Quick and silent ball game (throwing, catching, crossing mid line)
  • Run in place
  • Short walk around the school

Ideas of Brain Breaks


Brain Breaks: Watson Life Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Students need Brain Breaks! Here’s why–plus how to help. Retrieved from

Terada, Y. (2018, March 9). Research-Tested Benefits of Breaks. Retrieved from

Time for a Brain Break! (2017, September 28). Retrieved from


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