Government advise exercise for under 5s

Posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 in Health

Health experts for the government have issued exercise advice to parents of children under the age of 5.

Growing concern over the lack of exercise in children has led to the government issuing advice for this age group for the first time. Experts fear that children who do not get enough exercise may face further problems later in life. Lack of exercise can be linked to obesity and brain development.

Health experts recommend that babies should be encouraged to be active from birth and all under fives should be restrained as little as possible. Parents are being advised to cut down on the amount of time they should keep babies and toddlers in car seats or buggies, and toddlers should be physically active for at least three hours a day.

Recent studies have suggested that only 30% of English children between the age of 2 and 15 get the recommended level of exercise. Most pre-school children only spend 2 to 2.5 hours a day being active.

Parents are being advised to allow their babies to crawl and roll about on mats and to encourage them to reach and grab for their toys. Baby swimming lessons are also encouraged.

Furthermore, once a child can walk, they should spend at least three hours a day doing some physical activity. Toddlers should be encouraged to undertake any exercise that makes them ‘huff and puff’: climbing, running, skipping, swimming and riding a bike are all encouraged.

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