Active Families

In 2019 The Chief Medical Officers of the 4 UK nations published UK wide physical activity guidelines, with a renewed focus on being active every day to improve the overall health of the population and reduce the risk of chronic illness.

Research shows that physical activity can help improve behaviour, self-confidence and social skills, develop coordination, lead to better sleep, improve concentration, boost the immune system and create healthier and happier children - movement is life!

The CMO recommends that all children and young people aged 5 to 18 should be active for at least 60 minutes every day, with three days each week including vigorous intensity activities that strengthen muscle and bone.

Schools have been tasked with encouraging and enabling at least 30 active minutes for each child every day, but families should be taking responsibly for the other 30 minutes – plus activity on non-school days.

We know that some children will be doing much more activity than the recommendations, but others will be struggling to meet the minimum levels. Schools are doing their best to support children and families to be active both independently and together, and we have collated several resources and useful links within this section of our website to aid everyone in the quest to move more and sit less.

Physical activity can be structured, such as a swimming lesson or gymnastics club, but it can also be recreational such as a bike ride, free play in the park or a game of throw and catch in a garden – any physical activity is good regardless of which form it takes. Being active also doesn’t have to be costly, there are lots of free and low-cost options too and being active together as a family can also make it a much more enjoyable and fun experience that children want to repeat.

We hope that there are lots of ideas to get you started and support you on your physical activity journey, if you need further advice, please speak to your child’s school in the first instance.

NB. There is separate guidance for Under 5’s and for Children and Young People with a Disability.

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