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Physical Activity

girl cathching footy

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

  • For healthy development in infants (birth to 1year), physical activity – particularly floor based play in safe environments – should be encouraged from birth.
  • Toddlers (1 to 3 years) and pre-schoolers (3 to 5 years) should be physically active every day for at least 3 hours, spread across the day.
  • Children aged 2 to 5 years should spend less than 1 hour per day watching television and using other electronic media (DVDs, computer and other electronic games).
  • Children younger than 2 years should not spend any time watching television or using other electronic media (DVDs, computer and other electronic games).
  • Infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers should not be sedentary, restrained or kept inactive for more than 1 hour at a time, with the exception of sleeping.

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.