The Department has developed Physical Activity recommendations for children and young people. These are that:
- Children and young people should participate in at least 60 minutes (and up to several hours) of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity every day.
- Children and young people should not spend more than 2 hours a day using electronic media for entertainment (eg computer games, Internet, TV), particularly during daylight hours.
The recommendations are intended to identify the minimum level of physical activity required for good health in children and young people from 5-18 years of age.
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Who are recommendations for?
The recommendations apply to children and young people from 5-18 years of age. However, it is vital that parents and carers of children and young people, teachers, policy makers and health and other professionals are aware of the recommendations so as to promote them and increase physical activity opportunities within their respective settings.
The brochure Australia’s Physical Activity recommendations for 5-12 year olds (PDF 148 KB)
is specifically aimed at parents and carers of young children. The brochure Australia’s Physical Activity recommendations for 12-18 year olds (PDF 133 KB)
speaks directly to young people. This information may also be useful to parents and carers of young people and anyone working to promote, conduct and monitor physical activity for children and young people
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Why do we need recommendations?
Many leisure activities that are currently popular with children, such as watching television and playing computer games, involve very little physical activity. Many children are now also driven to school or other places rather than walking or cycling. Physical inactivity and poor nutrition are modifiable risk factors for overweight and obesity in both children and adults. However, about one in every five children is now overweight or obese in Australia. These children often experience a range of health problems while childhood obesity is known to be a good predictor of obesity in adulthood, which in itself is a major risk factor for poor health.
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How were the recommendations developed?
The developmental process was informed by the best evidence currently available and followed international best practice. The process began with a comprehensive literature review, and the establishing of an expert Reference Group. A national consensus workshop involving key researchers, policy makers and representatives from community organisations was held to consider the results of the literature review and to determine the ‘dose’ of physical activity to be recommended.