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Benefits of physical activity for your children

Active Parent Education Kit Fact Sheet 1

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Benefits of physical activity for your childrenPhysical activity is defined as any form of exercise or movement and may include planned activity such as walking, running or other sports. It may also include daily activities such as household chores, gardening and walking the dog.

If your child is struggling to become physically active, as a family try some of the following simple exercises:

  • Fly a kite in the park or at the beach.
  • Dance to your favourite music.
  • Play a family game of table tennis.
  • Swim and splash about at the local pool.
  • Throw a frisbee.
  • Jump on a trampoline.

Did you know?

Australian recommendations for physical activity are for at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily (children and adolescents). It is also recommended that Australian children and young people should not spend more than two hours each day using electronic media for entertainment (e.g. computer games, internet, TV), particularly in daylight hours.1

Physical activity provides the opportunity to be active, have fun, feel good, be healthy and express yourself.
Active children are happy and healthy and more likely to become active adults.

Did you know physical activity can help you maintain healthy skin?

After any amount of physical activity your skin gets a glow. Impurities and toxins are released via perspiration. Perspiration also helps to produce your natural skin moisturiser, sebum and enhances blood flow to the skin. This helps transport oxygen and other valuable nutrients, which maintain your skin and give you that healthy glow! 2

Benefits for children

Emotional wellbeing    

Helps children feel more confident, happy, relaxed, improve self- esteem and self concept, sense of belonging, ability to sleep better, self expression and the opportunity to achieve.

Health    

Encourages healthy growth and development of children’s bodies, including feeling more energetic, developing coordination and movement control and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Mental health    

Improves concentration skills and ability to manage anxiety and stress.

Social skills    

Develops skills such as cooperation and teamwork, and is a great way to have fun, meet new people and develop friendships and integration.

Learning and productivity    

Active children are generally more motivated and better organised than children who are inactive. Physical activity has direct links to improved learning outcomes.

Positive school environment    

Active students are generally less aggressive and experience fewer discipline problems.

Reduction in anti-social behaviour    

Active children are less likely to smoke, use illicit drugs or be involved in criminal activity.

Here are a few tips to help keep your children active:

  • Set a good example for your children by regularly participating in physical activity yourself.
  • Restrict TV and other screen based activities to a minimum.
  • Encourage acceptance of all body shapes and ability levels.


In looking after your body well, your body looks after you so that you can keep enjoying life and achieving your goals!

Sources:

  1. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. (2004). National children and youth physical activity recommendations. Retrieved on the 13/11/2009, from www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-active-recommend.htm
  2. QLD Department of Communities Sport and Recreation. (2009). Active teens. Retrieved on the 13/11/09, from http://www.sportrec.qld.gov.au/Getactive/ActiveWomenandGirls/Activeteens.aspx
 
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