We live in a technological era. For children, it is exciting as it means effortless stimulation in front of a screen. For parents, it’s an easy babysitter. With research coming out about the effects on our bodies from sitting for extended periods there is concern about what it is doing to children and their developing bodies.
In Australia, only one-third of children do the recommended amount of daily physical activity, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and two out of three children have more than 2 hours of screen time per day (considered the maximum amount recommended). With obesity rates rising, it is more important than ever to ensure children are moving. It is recommended that a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity is done 3-5 times per week, and this activity should be a variety of leisure, play, games, sports – in teams and casually, and done at home, school and in the community.
Regular exercise can help children:
So, get your kids moving. Throw a ball, go to the park, ride a bike around the river, go walking in the bush or swim in the ocean or just play simple old-fashioned outdoor games with your kids. Exercise is important for parents too!
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Okely, T, et al., A Systematic review to inform the Australian sedentary behaviour guidelines for children and young people’, 2012, Report prepared for the Australian Government Department of Health, www.health.gov.au
Okely, T, et al., A Systematic review to update the Australian physical activity guidelines for children and young people’, 2012, Report prepared for the Australian Government Department of Health, www.health.gov.au