>>Australia’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines

Australia’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines

Australia’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines 2018-06-01T15:13:18+00:00

The Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines are based on scientific evidence that has investigated the relationship between physical activity and sedentary (sitting) behaviour and children’s health outcomes, including obesity and the risk of chronic disease. Here are some of their findings:

Babies (up to 12 months) and Toddlers to Pre-school (1 to 5 years)

  • From birth, babies should participate in supervised floor-based play in safe environments.
  • Babies should have no exposure to TV or other screens.
  • Toddlers and pre-schoolers should be physically active every day for at least three hours, spread throughout the day.
  • Children younger than 2 years of age should not spend any time watching television or using other electronic media.
  • Children 2 to 5 years of age should not be sitting and watching television or using other electronic media beyond one hour per day.
  • All children should not be sedentary, restrained, or kept inactive, for more than one hour at a time, except when sleeping.

Children (5 to 12 years)

  • Children should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. This should include a variety of aerobic activity, and can include playing sport, walking to school, playing in the backyard, swimming or skipping.
  • On at least three days per week, children should engage in activities that strengthen muscle and bone.
  • The time they spend using electronic media (like TV, electronic games and computer use) and being sedentary should be limited to no more than two hours a day.

Teenagers (from 13 to 17 years)

  • Teenagers should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. This should include a variety of aerobic activity, and can include playing sport, walking to school, playing in the park, swimming or bike riding.
  • The time they spend using electronic media (like TV, electronic games and computer use) and being sedentary should be limited to no more than two hours a day. On at least three days per week, young people should engage in activities that strengthen muscle and bone.

At least 60 minutes a day – in many different ways

Children’s daily physical activity doesn’t have to be done all in one go. Their 60 minutes can be accumulated throughout the day, and even if your child doesn’t play sport, there are lots of other activities they can still do. In fact, being active in a variety of ways will help children gain all the benefits. If your child is not yet doing 60 minutes of physical activity every day, they will still benefit from gradually increasing their activity to reach this amount.

What is physical activity?

Physical activity is any activity that gets kids moving, makes their breathing become quicker and their hearts beat faster.

What is sedentary behaviour?

Sedentary behaviour is characterised by sitting or lying down (except for when children are sleeping). The use of electronic media can be a big contributor to children’s sedentary time.