In Russian, there is a popular concept "Физкульминутка" (Physical culture minute) - this is a very short break in the middle of a lesson for physical exercise to rest. Is there a term in English for this? What do you call these breaks - exercises like "clap your hands, stamp your feet, ..."?

  • In elementary school, the much longer and classic favorite academic subject of all school children is 'recess', a much longer break.
    – Mitch
    Mar 9, 2021 at 20:27

3 Answers 3


I’m not aware of any established term, but “(short) exercise break” is a clear term that needs no definition. Here are some examples in use:

Alternatively, I have also seen the following used, less commonly:

The term “brain break” is close but the activities it covers don’t all involve exercise (such as mindfulness).

  • Thanks. But if I understand correctly, "exercise" can mean not only physical activity, but also mental one: tasks in textbooks can also be called exercises.
    – MaleV
    Mar 11, 2021 at 14:25

I think you might be looking for the term "brain break":

A brain break is a break from whatever kids are focusing on. Short brain breaks during work time have been shown to have real benefits. They reduce stress and frustration and increase attention and productivity. (1)

In the classroom, brain breaks are quick, structured breaks using physical movement, mindfulness exercises, or sensory activities. Brain breaks can be done individually (like deep breathing) or as a whole class (like a round of Simon Says). (2)

understood.org (1) & (2)

A brain break is a short mental break that is taken during regular intervals during classroom instruction. Brain breaks are usually limited to five minutes and work best when they incorporate physical activities.



Exercise break. Or minute if you will.

English is relatively resistant to merging words ad hoc.

  • 1
    Laurel has already covered 'exercise break'. '[Short] exercise break' covers both terms. Mar 9, 2021 at 19:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.