Schools Must Shorten Class Periods

School is killing their students. Not through stress, endless homework and early wake ups. But by sitting. The decision to hold 90-110 minute classes multiple days a week is detrimental to our mortality rates. A study done by Annals of Internal Medicine found that more than 30 minutes of uninterrupted sitting decreases the amount of years on the body’s expiration date. The amount of time that schools keep their students sitting must be changed.

Currently, Ladue High School holds four days of school a week where students are sitting for more than 30 minutes. Triple the 30 minute limit, to be exact. Ladue is not the only school that follows this scheduling problem. This is a nationwide issue. Schools across the country are trapping students in their chairs for more time than necessary.

Not only is this amount of time poor for our health, it also harms our ability to focus. Developing brains can only concentrate for so long. When these 90 minute class periods are challenging APs or rigorous math classes, it’s even harder. Being able to focus goes hand in hand with memory. Being successful in school stems back to whether or not a student can remember something. When students are pounded with four excruciatingly long class periods, this makes the task of success in school much more challenging.

Long class periods disproportionately affect the amount of concentration and effort a student can put into all their classes. Students may come to school and place all of their focus into their first class period, leaving them drained for the rest of the classes. A 15 minute break has been found to be a sufficient enough reset after a 90 minute period of focus, however, most schools only allow five minutes.

Even though more work can be done in 90 minutes, it is crucial that schools start accommodating to the challenge of long winded classes. One fix would be lowering the length of classes in general. However, if that is not possible, teachers should offer at least two breaks in between class. This gives the brain a much needed break that will help the mind’s ability to get through the day.

Students already have to deal with ridiculous amounts of homework and extracurriculars. Shortened class periods that don’t drain their brains will help ease the struggle of focusing throughout the entire day.