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HealthInfo Canterbury

Active children

Ngā tamariki kakama

Everyone can benefit from being active, including children. Being active can help children:

Be active every day

Children need at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity a day for good health. But it doesn't need to be all at once. Several short 10-minute bursts of activity throughout the day can be just as good.

Tips for helping children be active

Find activities they enjoy

Just like adults, children are more likely to stick with an activity they find fun and rewarding. No activity is better than another so find what works best for your child. The Greater Christchurch sport and recreation guide has information about all the sports clubs, parks, classes, groups and programmes in your area.

Be a good role model

Set a good example by making regular physical activity part of your lifestyle.

Use active transport

Instead of getting in the car for short trips, like to and from school, try walking, biking or scooting with your child. Start by doing this once a week and add more trips over time. Try setting up a walking school bus with other families.

Give active chores to older children

Get your children involved in mowing the lawn or keeping the garden tidy. You could even start a veggie patch with them!

Encourage active play

Encourage your child to play active games as much as possible, including during breaks at school and when friends come over. See Games on the Healthy Kids website for ideas for games your kids can play or you can play with your kids. Try to limit recreational screen time for children over 8 to no more than two out-of-school hours per day. For children under 8, this should be no more than one hour per day.

Meet friends at the park rather than a café

If you're meeting friends for coffee, buy a takeaway then go to a local park. You can still have a chat, and your children will be free to play on the equipment, run around and explore.

Be active as a family

Try to do something fun and active as a family each week. Some ideas are going on beach or bush walks, kicking a ball outside, playing a game of tag, basketball or tennis, going to the local swimming pool and flying a kite at the park.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2020.


See also:

Eating well for children

Overview of being active

Page reference: 48134

Review key: HIKEA-53695