Author Topic: How much activity does a child need?  (Read 2866 times)

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Offline sithari

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How much activity does a child need?
« on: September 05, 2006, 10:07:14 PM »
A healthy level of physical activity requires regular participation in activities that increase energy expenditure above resting levels. An active child should participate in physical education classes, play sports, perform regular household activities, spend recreational time outdoors and regularly travel by foot or bicycle.

Physical activity need not be strenuous to be beneficial. Healthy children, when in an environment conducive to physical activity, will be active.

Emphasis should be placed on play (rather than exercise) and on activities that the child enjoys, that are consistent with the child's skill level. Participation in games should be promoted for enjoyment and for health reasons, not for gaining honours.

What are the general guidelines for healthy physical activity?

. Regular walking, cycling and outdoor play; use of playgrounds; and interaction with other people.

. Weekly participation in age-appropriate organised sports lessons at schools.

. Daily school physical education that includes at least 20 minutes of co-ordinated large-muscle exercise.

. Opportunities for physical activity that are fun, increase confidence in participating in physical activity and involve co-operation with friends and peers.

. Positive role modelling for a physically active lifestyle by parents, other caretakers and school personnel. Physical activity is important for all people. Physical activity may be particularly helpful for children and adults with a weight problem in relation to both their physical and psychological well-being.

(Reference: Food Based Dietary Guidelines for Sri Lankans, prepared by Dr. Renuka Jayatissa and Prof. Sunethra Athukorale)

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