School aged children and young people
Did you know that children between the ages of 5 to 18 should try to be active for 60 minutes per day in moderate to vigorous physical activity across the week?
However, getting our quota doesn’t have to be all in one go. It can be in small chunks throughout the day, and every little counts. We should aim to move in a way that makes us feel warmer and increases our heart rate slightly.
What is moderate to vigorous physical activity?
Moderate intensity activities such as brisk walking, cycling, riding a scooter, playing, make us breathe faster, our heart rate increases, and we begin to feel warm. We are usually able to talk but not sing while doing them.
Vigorous intensity activities such as running, swimming fast, competitive sport like playing football, netball require a large amount of effort, resulting in a much faster heart rate and rapid breathing. They usually make it difficult for us to talk without pausing.
Children and young people should engage in a variety of types and intensities of physical activity across the week to develop movement skills, muscular fitness, and bone strength.
What type of activity develops muscular fitness, bone strength and movement skills?
Examples of activities that strengthen muscle and bone, include:
For older young people activities include:
- circuit training
- ball games
- racquet sports
Movement skills can be developed by activities focused on fundamental movement skills, such as:
- agility – movement on our feet – change of direction and speed
- balance – hopping, jumping, balance on different surfaces
- co-ordination – throwing, catching, sending and receiving skills
Physical activity can strengthen our muscles by using all of our major muscle groups during the activity and our bones, by stimulating bone growth and repair.
Children and young people should aim to reduce the amount of time spent being sedentary, and when physically possible should break up long periods of not moving with at least light physical activity.
For further information read physical activity for children and young people: 5 to 18 years