“Active children are more likely to be active adults”

There are the many reasons why physical activity is important to children of all ages. Recent research has shown that Aussie kids are not being active enough, with only 19% of kids (5-17 years) meeting the recommended physical activity guidelines. The benefits of building and maintaining healthy amounts of physical activity are not only during youth, but across our entire lifespan. Bone mineral density continues to build during adolescence until adulthood. Running, jumping and varied play is needed to build maximum bone strength to reduce risk of osteoporosis later in life. 

Health benefits for Active children:

Promotion of healthy growth and development

Improved self-esteem and confidence

Increased positive mental health 

Helping to build stronger bones, muscles, and joints

Reducing the risk of developing cancers and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease

So what are the guidelines and how can we achieve them? 

Children aged 5-17 years should be completing 60+ minutes of heart rate raising physical activity each day. This can include brisk walking, swimming, running or cycling. There are plenty of opportunities existing in the community for children and teenagers to be sufficiently active through participation in things such as team sports, dancing, gymnastics or regular use of the local playground and park. It is important that parents and guardians do what they can to help encourage and support children in being active in order to build healthy habits which can last a lifetime!