Being physically active is not only lots of fun, but crucial for a child’s physical development and good health. It also creates opportunities to make new friends, encourage confidence and independence.
The National Physical Activity Recommendations for Children, set by the Department of Health recommends children of all ages participate in some form of physical activity every day.
- Parents of infants (from birth to 1 year) should incorporate activities such as tummy time and other supervised floor play to help them develop muscle tone, gross and fine motor skills.
- For toddlers (children aged 1-3 years) and preschoolers (aged 3 to 5 years) they recommend physical activities for at least three hours, spread throughout the day. Active play can include a combination of indoor and outdoor play.
- For school age children (aged 5–12 years) they should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.
Long periods of inactivity is not recommended for young children. Screen time, including; television, DVD’s, computers and other mobile devices usually involve sitting for long periods.
For children under 2 years, screen time should not be allowed. For children aged 2-5 years, the limit is one hour per day, and for older children the maximum time spent on electronic devices is two hours per day.
To encourage physically active children, it helps to be an active role model. Play with them outside, go for a walk, ride a bike, swim with them and dance to music. Park the car a little further from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
Help your kids be active after pre-school or school, through outside play or an organised sport. Introduce to them to different sports so they can find the one that they enjoy the most and may wish to continue. They are so many sporting activities and programs here on the Coffs Coast, you are sure to find something that best suits your child.
Active children have more chance of developing into active adults and a greater possibility of remaining in better physical and mental health throughout their lives.