Wednesday 5th September 2018 is National Health and Physical Education Day. Parents and communities are being encouraged to set a good example and participate in physical activity with their children.
It is estimated that 28% of Australian children are overweight or obese. This has coincided with a rise in Type II diabetes and sleep apnoea in children (Department of Health). Children aged 5-17 should engage in a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every single day. Activities that strengthen kids’ muscles and bones should also be engaged in for a minimum of 3 days a week. Furthermore children should only engage in screen time, including educational screen time, for 2 hours a day MAX! (Australian physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines).
Some strength based physical activities for children include monkey bars, wheelbarrow, hopscotch, imitating animals (crab walks, inchworm, frog jumps, kangaroo jumps etc.), skipping, jumping jacks, handstands and cartwheels. Some strength based sports that your children may enjoy include football, basketball, netball, gymnastics and rock climbing. Children from the age of 7 can also safely engage in traditional gym-based strength training however qualified professional supervision is recommended to prevent injuries such as epiphyseal plate fractures (ACSM, 2017; Dahab and McCambridge, 2009).
For National Health and Physical Education Day parents are encouraged to engage in 30 minutes of physical activity with their children. Some suggestions to achieve this goal are to stop at your local park or beach and play games like tag, hide and seek or hopscotch; teach your children a movement skill like catching, throwing and kicking a ball; rather than take the car use active modes of travel like walking, biking or skateboarding; and finally be a positive role model – take the stairs not the elevator, go for a walk after dinner as a family and if using public transport get off a stop or two early. Most importantly have fun!
If you and your child need extra help to achieve the national physical activity guidelines our exercise physiologists here at Melbourne Osteohealth are able to provide your children with exercise education and prescription. We also hold a small group class on Monday at 4pm for children who are not meeting their developmental milestones.
Want to know more?
Give us a call on 8370 3044 and we’ll happily answer any questions you might have.