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Not Being Active

 kicking a soccer ball

Time to turn off the TV and take a break from the computer or electronic game!

Some screen time is ok – but you also need to make time to get up and get active. Not being active is one of the reasons why kids and adults can become overweight or obese.

This happens when we get more energy from the food we eat than what we burn up doing physical activity. This extra energy gets stored in our body as fat. Being overweight puts a strain on our bodies and causes lots of health problems as we get older.

Too much screen time can also have bad effects on your health right now.

Even if you are very physically active, you will still benefit from limiting the amount of time that you spend sitting or lying down (except when sleeping) in as many ways as possible.

Effects of too much screen time

  • Your posture can get worse
  • Your eyesight can deteriorate
  • You can strain your wrist, thumb and elbow
  • You can have problems with sleep
  • Your social skills can suffer
  • Your body can store more energy than it uses

How long is too long?

To help your body grow strong and healthy, it is recommended that you spend no more than 2 hours each day on play activities that involve sitting in front of a screen. Break up long periods of use should be broken up as often as possible.

Just swapping 30 minutes a day of screen time for more active play can make you healthier and feel better.


Facts on not being active

  • The Active Healthy Kids Australia Report Card states "Sport is not enough". Participation in sport does not necessarily mean that children and young people meet the recommended levels of physical activity. We also need to encourage physical activity through everyday activities.
  • A survey conducted in 2010 found that the number of overweight and obese kids in NSW had risen from around 1 in 10 children in 1985 to almost 1 in 4 children in 2010.
  • Another survey in 2009-2010 found that nearly half of children aged between 5 and 15 years spent more than 2 hours each day on small screen recreation.
  • Kids who watch TV for more than 2 hours each day are more likely to have an unhealthy diet, are less likely to eat fruit and are less likely to participate in physical activity.
  • It is more likely that kids will snack on foods that are high in sugar, salt or saturated fat when they’re watching TV.
  • The energy you use playing active Wii Sports games does not help you get your recommended amount of daily exercise.
  • Kids and teens aged from five to 18 years need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day to keep healthy, as well as activities that strengthen muscle and bone on at least 3 days of the week.