Sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity at home or during gym or recess daily can benefit both children and adolescents.5 Some benefits include:
- Better mental well-being
- Improved lung function
- Stronger muscles and bones
- Prevention of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.5,7
Research shows that children who are more active tend to perform better in school, with higher grades, better concentration and memory, better attendance, and better classroom behavior.6
How Much Do I Need?
Preschool Aged Children (Ages 3 to 5): 3 Hours Per Day
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services suggests that 3 hours per day of activity (light, moderate, or vigorous intensity) is reasonable for children at this age.7 This level of activity can help support children in their growth and development. These activities can be something they enjoy and are age-appropriate, under supervision of an adult or caretaker. Examples include:
- Outdoor games, such as tag
- Tricycle or bicycle riding
- Playing at a local playground
- Walking, running, jumping, skipping, or dancing.
- Catching, throwing, or kicking games (under adult supervision)
- Gymnastics or tumbling
School Aged Children (Ages 6 to 17): 3 Days a Week for at Least 1 Hour
School-aged children can stay active and healthy by doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for 60 or more minutes each day.8,9 The things students can do to stay active should involve aerobic activity as well as age-appropriate muscle- and bone-strengthening activities.9 Examples include:
- Aerobics: Include activities that increase heart rate, like walking, running, bicycling, for most of the 60 recommended minutes.
- Muscle-strengthening: Include activities like climbing, swinging on playground equipment, or playing tug-of-war.
- Bone-strengthening: Include activities such as jumping, running, playing basketball or hopscotch.