University of California Press

This lively, inspiring, and informative book zeroes in on the state of American fitness—persistently sedentary, plagued by obesity—and issues a clarion call to action.

Toni (Antronette) Yancey finds that despite our best intentions and repeated resolutions to exercise, physical activity in all levels of society continues to plummet. In a warm, reader-friendly narrative that draws on solid scientific research, personal experience and her own poetry, Yancey calls for a radically different approach: one that respects diversity and grounded in the cultures of those most at risk. Rather than encouraging unhealthful habits like cigarette breaks or high fat snacks, Instant Recess proposes regular 10 minute exercise breaks that are easily incorporated into school, work, and community life. To order go to or

Here is a new paradigm for fitness and public health that promises vitality, well being, and a greater sense of community—demonstrating, as Yancey argues, that what’s good for the waistline is good for the bottom line.

Click here to access and share Instant Recess®/Lift Off! related materials.

Lift Off! (Lift those buns Off the couches and chairs!) was the original workplace-targeted activity break intervention developed by Dr. Yancey and her colleagues at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The Lift Off! was adapted for the Professional Athletes Council, in cooperation with the California Department of Health Services in 2006 and the umbrella term "Instant Recess" was coined.

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Instant Recess


“In Instant Recess, Dr. Yancey provides the tools to get America moving, in a very accessible style with the scientific research to back it up.”

             - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman,

                                            Senate HELP Committee

"Instant Recess is a call to all of us to get up

and move. I’m betting that she can convince anyone that moving more is not only good for health, but easy and lots of fun to do." 

            - Marion Nestle, PhD, Food Politics

“... Instant Recess is a practical approach to increasing physical activity in populations.

It is doable in just about any setting. It could

get America moving again.”

            - David Satcher, MD, PhD,
                                        16th US Surgeon General


Building a Fit Nation




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