A qualitative descriptive research approach was conducted to determine the effects of recess on rural elementary schools. Counties in Eastern Kentucky are predominantly rural and ranks among the lowest ten-percent of U.S. counties in poverty, income, and unemployment rate. These variables greatly affect the health and occupations of all citizens in this area, but the researcher looked specifically at its impact on elementary students. Principals and teachers in rural eastern Kentucky elementary schools were interviewed using semi-structured interview protocol about their opinions of recess in their schools and on students. Interview data was transcribed verbatim and analyzed for themes. Results suggest four common themes among the participants’ remarks about the benefits of recess, the drawbacks of recess, days without recess. and changes to recess. These results suggest that recess is imperative for optimal classroom function in rural eastern Kentucky, that there is room for alterations to the schedules, and additions that could be made to playground equipment at each school.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2018


Julie Baltisberger

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)