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The Importance and Impact of Recreational Activities in the Educational Curriculum | Ms. Rituparna Devi

“All Work and no Play make Jack a dull boy” goes a popular saying.

The significance of this saying has increased manifold in today’s fast-paced and competitive world where students are forced by both their guardians and the conglomerate of society and situations as a whole to devote increasing hours in academic learning , whether theoretical or practical and knowledge enhancing activities so that they can stay ahead in the rat race. Add to that the present way of life where people mostly stay in small nuclear families and with parents working, the viability of our own home as a place where we can have recreational time has diminished.

What is recreation?

Recreation consists of activities or experiences carried on within leisure, usually chosen voluntarily by the participant – either because of satisfaction, pleasure or creative enrichment derived, or because he perceives certain personal or social values to be gained from them. It may, also be perceived as the process of participation, or as the emotional state derived from involvement.

Students, especially in higher education, now spend most of their time with college friends and outside of home for various purposes and work. Hence, in the current scenario, the best place to include recreational activities in one’s life is one’s place of education rather than at home. This not only provides a chance to include recreations in one’s life, but also helps students to socialize and become less dependent on one’s parents.

Before analyzing the effect of recreations in educational curriculum, it is important to know the impacts and necessity of recreations in one’s life as a whole. Due to the intricacies in present day society and the way of living, students nowadays are weaker than their older generations, both physically and emotionally. This gets reflected in their physical, emotional and mental health as well as their behavior and development which all the more calls for bestowing on recreations the importance that it deserves. Various studies have shown the importance of recreations on one’s life specifically in three aspects- physical health, mental health and improving quality of life.

  • Physical Health: Recreational activities, especially outdoor ones improve one’s health like maintaining lower body fat percentages, lowering blood and cholesterol levels, increasing muscular strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, body composition and cardiovascular endurance. Overall it increases one’s stamina and energy level resulting in more focus for academic activities besides also having an impact on one’s class attendance and attention thus leading to more learning. And as we all know “health is wealth”.
  • Mental Health: Mental health is essential for overall physical health. Recreational activities help manage stress. It provides a chance to nurture oneself and provides a sense of balance and self-esteem, which can directly reduce anxiety and depression. There is also an increased motivation to learn as it can serve as a laboratory for application of contents learnt in classrooms teaching. It provides a channel for releasing tension and anxiety thus facilitating emotional stability and resilience. Such activities help students
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