Do your kids get enough exercise?The 2014 Active Healthy Kids Australia Report has found that the fitness of Australian children is amongst the lowest of children worldwide. The report has found that the majority of Australian children and young people are not meeting the daily Australian physical activity guidelines. The guideline recommends;
- 180 minutes of activity every day for children 2-4 years old and limiting ‘screen’ time to less than 1 hour each day
- 60 minutes of moderate – vigorous physical activity for 5-17 year olds, minimise uninterrupted sitting time and limiting ‘screen’ time to less than 2 hours each day
One of the key messages from the report was that organise sport in many cases wasn’t enough to help children achieve their physical activity quota. Some of the reasons for this included the amount of ‘down time’ during sport when skills were being practiced or instructions being given which would be not be classified as the moderate-vigorous physical activity required for fitness benefits.
So what can we do to make sure our kids are getting in sufficient weekly physical activity?
- Encourage participation in organised sport
- Provide opportunities for active play and active transport and make this ‘normal’ for your family – do it together
- Lead by example – show your children the way that you prioritise physical activity, use it for transport and have fun while you exercise
- Limit screen time and stick to the Australian guidelines