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Instant Recess: Building a Fit Nation 10 Minutes at a Time Paperback – November 3, 2010
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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.
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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!
It's not just about convincing you to exercise yourself, Instant Recess is a program of exercising in groups, in the middle of the day, at work, school, church, the library - wherever people gather. Dr. Yancey presents evidence of the power of that social element in stripping away the inhibitions & excuses that are such a strong factor in the sedentary lifestyles of so many people.
Yancey presents a compelling case for looking at activity differently. Instead of workplace & social cultures that leave it up to individuals to carve out personal time for activity, she proposes that we make it the easy, default option in our normal course of "business." While never preachy or presumptive (she doesn't say companies owe this to their people), she makes it pretty clear that as companies and as a society we can't afford to continue on our current sedentary path.
For me, the addition of personal stories about Dr. Yancey's life were entertaining & both lightened up & brought warmth to what could have been a boring, clinical text. She's certainly an overachiever & an inspiration to thousands of people, but she's also a very real, down to earth, grounded human being.
FYI, there are now more resources available for people who want help implementing Instant Recess. She now has 2 websites. [...] is her personal site & [...] is dedicated to the Instant Recess program.