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Active Children

The Benefits of Activity for your child's health

The following information is sourced from the Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines.

Being physically active is good for your child's health, physically, socially and emotionally.

The Guidelines are for all children who have started school, irrespective of cultural background, gender or ability and may help you make healthy activity choices with your child.

Benefits of Physical Activity

Physical activity provides the following benefits for young people:

  • Develop healthy musculoskeletal tissues ( bones, muscles and joints)
  • Develop a healthy cardiovascular system ( heart and lungs)
  • Develop neuromuscular awareness ( coordination and movement control)
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
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Activity Guidelines

 

Physical Activity Guidelines for children aged 5- 17 years

  • Accumulate at least 60 minutes/ day of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity
  • Most of the daily physical activity should be aerobic
  • Vigorous intensity activities should be incorporated, including activity that strengthens muscle and bone, at least 3 times per week
  • Physical activity greater than 60 minutes provides additional health benefits

Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines

 

Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Children Aged 5-17 Years

To reduce health risks, young people should minimise the time they spend engaged in sedentary tasks every day.

To achieve this-

  • Limit to no more than 2 hours/ day use of electronic media  (e.g. television, seated electronic games and computer use)
  • Lower levels are associated with reduced health risks
  • Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible

Psychological Benefits

 

Psychological benefits of physical activity for young people
Physical activity:

  • May improve a child's control over the symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Can assist in social development by providing opportunities for self-expression, building self-confidence, social interaction and integration
  • Physically active young people often more readily adopt other healthy behaviours such as the avoidance of tobacco, alcohol and drugs and may demonstrate higher academic performance at school
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