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Instant Recess: Building a Fit Nation 10 Minutes at a Time Paperback – November 3, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Yancey makes a compelling case for establishing ten-minute recesses—that is, aerobic breaks—in schools, churches, baseball stadiums, and offices around the country. Her goal: for people to think that prolonged sitting is as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving or smoking. Yancey holds an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Northwestern, a medical degree from Duke, and a masters in public health from UCLA, where she is a professor, and one can easily imagine this 6-foot-2 African American woman refusing to take no for an answer. She lays out the problem (a sedentary America), the benefits of physical activity (good health, less obesity), the way to market fitness (change the culture and get people to choose activities they like), and the case for instant recess being good for the bottom line (preventing blood clots and the associated expenses). To liven up her text, the author shares poems she has written and fun photos, even as she stays focused on her call for an affordable, easy way to prevent chronic diseases and promote health. --Karen Springen --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"It's a how-to-improve-American's-health book. It's a great read for anyone interested in fitness beyond the personal. "--"Advanceweb.com"

"Makes a compelling case for establishing ten-minute recesses--that is, aerobic breaks--in schools, churches, baseball stadiums, and offices around the country."--"Booklist"

"Demonstrates the value of two 10-minute breaks of enjoyable communal activity as part of people's everyday lives."--"New York Times"

"This book offers great, real-world examples that can motivate others to replicate this community approach to fitness."--"Choice"

"Innovative approach for 21st-century fitness. . . . Highly Recommended."--"Choice"

"An accessible aerobics program developed to promote a culture of physical activity at workplaces."--"Washington Post Book World"

"Instant Recess is a terri?c book, well worth reading. . . . Run, dance, jump or hop to get your copy now."--Nicholas Freudenberg"Preventive Medicine" (03/26/2012)

Instant Recess is a terri?c book, well worth reading. . . . Run, dance, jump or hop to get your copy now. --Nicholas Freudenberg"Preventive Medicine" (03/26/2012)"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (November 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520263766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520263765
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #870,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Toni Yancey, MD, MPH is a preventive medicine physician, a former city health director, a well-published scientific researcher, and an ardent public health advocate, with particular expertise in designing and testing health promotion policies and programs in low-income communities and communities of color. Instant Recess not only authoritatively characterizes our current societal challenges of sedentariness and obesity, but more importantly, offers an original and innovative yet straightforward solution in which everyone may participate now. Recently tapped for the Board of the non-profit supporting First Lady Obama's childhood obesity campaign, her concept of re-integrating brief bouts of physical activity wherever we congregate--at work, school, sports arena, civic center, or place of worship, has been embraced by health and human services agencies, corporations, media outlets, professional sports organizations and many sports stars, including MLB Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, NBA forward Jerry Stackhouse, world champion boxer Roy Jones Jr. and NFL kick-off returner Allen Rossum.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Like most people over 35, I'm in a constant battle to fend off the pounds, especially around the waistline. Instant Recess really opened my eyes to the dangers of so much sitting and the value of short breaks of activity--of course for health purposes, but more immediately, to give me a little burst of energy and help me concentrate and stay alert. After returning to school, I found myself sitting for longer periods of time than ever.

I hear a lot on the news about the obesity problem, but not a lot about simple solutions to start the ball rolling in the right direction. I tend to be a very active person, but this book helped me understand how hard it would be for inactive people to get to the minimum exercise recommendation of 30 minutes. With all this talk about health care reform, Toni Yancey makes a compelling case that Instant Recess could prevent a lot of chronic conditions and reduce health care costs in the long run.

Yancey's really a storyteller. As a layperson, I was surprised to find this book so engaging and readable. She creates vivid imagery through her words, including her poetry, and also the photos and humorous cartoons.

All in all, a great read, and a very important issue that touches everyone!
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I purchased this book thinking it would teach me some exercises that I could use to set up an exercise program for my office staff. I was really looking forward to getting everyone moving. When the book arrived, I paged through it eagerly looking for the exercises . . . but there were none. Nothing but a fuzzy photo of a poster used in one of the author's programs. I skimmed through the book hoping to get something out of it, but it was just a series of exhortations to eat right and exercise, interspersed every few pages with photos and reminiscences celebrating the author's incredible beauty, fitness, and talent. Here's a picture of me when I was an international supermodel. Here are a bunch of wonderful poems I wrote. Here's a picture of me as a college basketball star. Here's a story about my incredible accomplishments in the medical field. You little people won't ever be like me, but don't despair--you can lose a couple of pounds and be at least a bit less disgusting than you are right now. Bah humbug!
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Format: Paperback
Who should read this book?

Anyone who is interested in an easy-to-use, practical approach to helping their worksite, school, or community become more active...

All current and aspiring public health students and practitioners...

Instant Recess is a clarion call for the field of public health, and particularly, obesity prevention. It is a reminder to wake up and do things differently before it is too late. Toni Yancey's enthusiasm and passion for this movement is evident through her engaging writing style and innovative ideas regarding physical activity. She uses her extensive experience in the field to explain why past attempts to make our society healthy have failed. Instead of encouraging individual willpower, she helps the reader understand how the built environment and social norms shape behavior. The concepts behind Instant Recess are easy to follow, and have been widely tested. More importantly, it is a cost-effective approach that can be used in almost any setting where people congregate. This is an invigorating read, and I believe it will inspire you to get yourself and others moving, 10 minutes at a time!
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Format: Paperback
Sometimes it takes a simple idea to get us "unstuck." This book is about taking short breaks during the work or school day or meetings of any kind. But it's also about much more. The author argues that physical activity is as fundamental to our well-being as eating. At face value, that doesn't seem particularly earth-shaking. But she takes it a step farther--since we mere mortals don't get hungry for activity, most people just are not going to exercise unless they can't easily avoid it. The breaks the book describes (I went to the author's website to check them out) are variable in production value, but there's a funny,quirkiness that could actually catch on, especially in the hands of some creative types with deep pockets. I know I don't feel my best or do my best or parent my best if I don't get to the gym or the park. It makes sense to me that we're all paying the price for the fact that most people have forgotten that--or never knew it, with the disappearance of recess and physical education. Recess,anyone?
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Format: Paperback
Finally, somebody who gets it! "Instant Recess", in my opinion, marks a paradigm shift in our perception of obesity, and how physical activity can be a powerful (and highly effective) tool in our prevention arsenal. As a fellow public health professional and fitness consultant who has seen many health innovations crash and burn, I can attest to the feasibility and effectiveness of the Instant Recess model Dr. Yancey proposes. Peppered with personal stories and cheeky anecdotes throughout, Yancey brings you into her world and shows you how much physical activity and active living has been a part (at some point) of all of our lives, and must continue to be!

"Instant Recess" is right on time, and a must-read for all!
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