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Being Active

girls at nippers

What is physical activity?

Physical activity is any sort of movement by the arms and legs which helps burn up the energy we get from our food. There are lots of different types of physical activity: walking, running, swimming and cycling are just a few.

Physical activity can be a part of:

  • family activities
  • games
  • sports
  • playing with friends
  • getting to places by walking or cycling.

Why is being physically active good for kids?

Physical activity helps kids to be fit and healthy in all sorts of ways, such as:

  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • having strong bones and muscles
  • improving balance and flexibility
  • improving posture
  • having a healthy heart and blood vessels
  • preventing disease later in life
  • helping you relax
  • improving self-esteem
  • developing social skills and making friends.

Are NSW kids doing enough physical activity?

Kids aged between 5 and 17 years need at least 60 minutes a day of moderate and vigorous activity.  It’s even better to be active for up to three hours each day. 

Moderate physical activity includes brisk walking, bike riding, skateboarding and dancing. Vigorous activities are ones which make you ‘huff and puff’, like running and playing games like basketball and football.

On at least three days per week, young people should engage in activities that strengthen muscle and bone. 

Strengthening activities include climbing, skipping, dancing, hopping, or tug-o-war.

Recent surveys show that many kids are not doing enough physical activity. 

  • The 2014 Active Healthy Kids Australia Report Card rated Australian kids D- for Overall Physical Activity Levels.
  • The 2009-2010 NSW Population Health Survey found that only about a quarter of children and young people aged between 5 and 15 years did at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.
  • The 2010 NSW Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey found that boys in years 6, 8 and 10 were more active than girls and that physical activity declines with age.