Kids’ Health Guidelines
Growing up, kids need a healthy balance of active and sedentary play to help them to grow up to become healthy and fit adults. This brings about questions such as:
What does active and sedentary mean?
Physical activity can be any body movement that require energy. This is highly recommended throughout a person’s childhood and their adult life. This could be tummy time from ages 0-2 years to running from ages 12-17 years.
Sedentary behaviour is the opposite to active play being activities that require little to no movement. This can be sitting down or watching television.
What types of physical activity should my child complete?
Birth to 1 year
For healthy development, babies are highly encouraged to complete supervised floor play activities in a safe environment. These include push and pull games with soft toys, encouraging the child to reach and grab toys by placing them just out of reach and playing music to encourage playful movements.
It is highly discouraged for children to be watching television at this age.
Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers (1 to 5 years)
Children this age are recommended to be physically active throughout the day for healthy growth and development. Parents should encourage physical activities such as exploring and play around the house and at the park, stopping during long car trips for playtime and taking children outside daily.
Screen time for children this age should be limited to one hour per day maximum. Less is even better.
Children (5 to 11 years)
For health benefits, children at this age should have a total of 60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity daily. This should include intense activities at least 3 days per week, muscle and bone strengthening activities at least 3 days per week however more is recommended. This could be bike riding, playground activities and games, swimming and running. This can result in doing better at school, improving fitness and growing stronger.
Sedentary screen time should be no more than 2 hours per day.
Youth and Teenagers (12 to 17 years)
Just like when they were children, teenagers should have accumulated a total of minimum 60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per day. This should include intense activities at least 3 days per week, muscle and bone strengthening activities at least 3 days per week however more is recommended. This can include bike riding, sports such as basketball and going to a gym. These will result in feeling happier, improving self-confidence and doing better in school.
Limiting recreational screen time to no more than 2 hours per day; lower levels are associated with additional health benefits.
Ref: www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/index.htm Accessed on 22nd of June, 2021
Ref: www.10000steps.org.au/articles/national-physical-activity-recommendations-children-0-5-years/ Accessed on 22nd of June, 2021