Being physically active is good for kids’ health and creates opportunities for making new friends and developing physical and social skills.
Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour guidelines for children of primary school ages (ages 5-12) are as follows:
- For health benefits, children aged 5–12 years should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.
- Children’s physical activity should include a variety of aerobic activities, including some vigorous intensity activity.
- On at least three days per week, children should engage in activities that strengthen muscle and bone.
- To achieve additional health benefits, children should engage in more activity – up to several hours per day.
- To reduce health risks, children aged 5-12 years should minimise the time they spend being sedentary every day. To achieve this:
- Limit use of electronic media for entertainment (e.g. television, seated electronic games and computer use) to no more than two hours a day – lower levels are associated with reduced health risks.
- Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.
Moderate to intense physical activity examples are:
- Sports training and game days
- School based PE classes
- Running, swimming, bike riding
Strength based training examples are:
- Jumping type activities
- Bodyweight exercises (push ups, squats)
Most schools have a consistent PE schedule that reaches the minimum guidelines for physical activity. But for further benefits, encourage your kids to be outside and be active every day!
Want to know more?
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As young people move through school, start work and become more independent, being physically active and limiting sedentary behaviour every day is not always easy, but it is possible and it is important. These guidelines are for all young people, irrespective of cultural background, gender or ability.