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Published 2020

Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA)

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Exercise and physical activity are vital for the physical, mental and social well-being of Aussie kids. To keep healthy, children should be moving for at least 60 minutes a day. However, with less than one-quarter (23%) of children aged 5–14 undertaking this recommendation every day, physical inactivity is already a serious problem in Australian children and adolescents.

Physical activity can have a significant impact in helping to reduce childhood obesity, diabetes and a variety of other chronic diseases. Childhood activity can also have long-term effects, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic conditions later in life, improving musculoskeletal health, and reducing adult mortality. Research also provides strong evidence for the positive link between exercise and brain development in children.

It’s hard to expect children to always want to pick physical activity and sport over screen-time, so as parents, we play an important role in influencing kids to have an active lifestyle. Whether it’s incorporating movement in daily activities from a young age and ensuring it’s fun and simple, signing children up for community sports, or joining them for a backyard game of cricket or soccer, it’s our role to be involved to help get them involved.