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Physical Activity

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Guidelines and recommendations

To help them grow and develop, it’s important that kids are physically active every day.

The following national recommendations on physical activity have been developed for Australian children and young people from birth to 18 years of age.

For 0-5 year olds

  • Infants (0-12 months) – physical activity particularly supervised interactive floor-based play in safe environments – is encouraged from birth.
  • Toddlers (aged 1-2 years) spend at least 180 minutes in a variety of physical activities, including energetic play, spread throughout the day; more is better.
  • Pre-schoolers (aged 3-5 years) spend at least 180 minutes in a variety of physical activities, of which at least 60 minutes is energetic play, spread throughout the day; more is better.
  • Children younger than 2 years do not have any sedentary screen time.
  • Children aged 2-5 years have no more than 1 hour of sedentary screen time; less is better.
  • Infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers engage in pursuits such as reading, singing, puzzles and storytelling with a caregiver when they are sedentary.

For 5 -18 year olds

  • Children and young people aged 5 to 18 years need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day to keep healthy.
  • Sedentary or ‘still’ activity time should be limited to a maximum of two hours per day. This includes activities such as surfing the net, watching TV and DVDs and playing electronic games.
  • Physical activity should be done at a moderate to vigorous intensity. Moderate activities include brisk walking, bike riding, skateboarding and dancing.
  • Vigorous activities are ones that make you ‘huff and puff’. They can include football, netball, soccer, running, swimming laps or training for sport.
  • For extra health benefits, older children and young people can do 20 minutes or more of vigorous activity three to four days a week.