Now, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it but Leapfrog Sports recently won an award.. best for getting active (we also came runners up in the Best for Toddlers too!)

I am very proud of this award because we really believe in the importance of getting children active, for both their physical and mental well-being. But do you know how much activity is recommended daily? Well read on to find out…

Physical activity is associated with numerous health benefits for children, such as muscle and bone strength, health and fitness, improved quality of sleep and maintenance of a healthy weight.

What are the guidelines?

Children under 5 who can walk on their own should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes (three hours). This should be spread throughout the day, indoors or outside and is a mixture of light and energetic activity.

For children aged 5 to 18 years old to maintain a basic level of health, they need:

At least 60 minutes of physical activity every day – this should range from moderate activity, such as playground activities, to vigorous activity, such as running and tennis. On three days a week, these activities should involve exercises for strong muscles and bones, such as jumping and running.

These chief medical officers’ guidelines are thought to be so important that they are specifically referenced in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework – which sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old, which all schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

So what counts as the activity that is recommended in the guidelines?

I have mentioned a few above but light activity is things such as standing up, moving around and walking and the energetic activity that is needed are things that make kids ‘huff and puff’ such as:

  • active play (like the games played at Leapfrog)
  • running around
  • jumping on a trampoline
  • riding a bike
  • dancing
  • swimming
  • skipping rope
  • playing sport

This amount of time may be a challenge for busy parents, but there is evidence to show that early life experiences and habits impact upon our health as adults and of course, Leapfrog Sports sessions can make your life a little easier and help you achieve this.

Did you know that being active doesn’t just have physical benefits? Next time I’ll talk about how it can also help with children’s mental health…