July 11, 2011
First physical activity guidance for under-fives
activity guidelines for the UK include specific guidance for
under-fives for the first time.
Released by the UK’s chief medical officers,
they state that pre-school children who are able
to walk should be active for at least three hours a day, though
this doesn't need to be in one go.
This means parents need to encourage babies to roll
around and reach for things on the floor while older
pre-school children should be encouraged to walk and
run around, and avoid spending too much time sitting
for five to 18 year-olds now states that young people should do ‘at
least 60 minutes and up to several hours’ of
physical activity a day. This should
include vigorous intensity activity, rather than just moderate.
Vigorous activity is also
mentioned in the guidance for adults.
It’s vital that parents introduce children to fun and physically active pastimes
head of policy and advocacy, Maura Gillespie, said: “Being active
, whatever your age, is crucial for
looking after your heart
. But we’re particularly
pleased that the guidelines now address under-fives and
recognise the benefits of more vigorous activity for older children
“Our childhood and teenage years are where we
habits and lifestyles that generally continue throughout our
adult life. So it’s vital that parents introduce children to
fun and physically active pastimes to help prevent
them becoming obese children, who are likely to become obese adults
at risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.”