Type of physical activity, not duration, more important for kids

Type of physical activity, not duration, more important for kids

We’ve all heard the “60 minutes a day” physical activity prescription for kids. Well, it may be that the duration and frequency of the activity is not as important as the activity that’s being done.

Reuters reports on a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in which lead author Gregory D. Myer notes that the “60 minutes of exercise for kids and teens” guidelines encouraged by the World Health Organization, and other esteemed organizations, are outdated, focusing too much on time, and not specifying which types of exercise are beneficial.

At Active for Life, we encourage kids to move more, and also to move better. So we’d amend the above expression, and suggest that both are important. The 60 minutes of movement a day is important, but we want to make sure children use that 60 minutes effectively and most importantly that it is fun.

Myer notes that “Kids don’t ask to go run two miles, they don’t enjoy it.” Myer has captured a core truth: kids won’t stick with a sport or activity if they aren’t having fun.

So if you’re wondering how to make sure your children are getting quality activity that is also fun, start by playing with them. Try our activity section for some great ideas to get you started and you’ll be surprised how quickly those 60 minutes fly by.

And if you can’t find 60 minutes in a row to dedicate to getting active, remember that it’s okay to break it up into small chunks.

All that activity and playing also adds up to quality family bonding. And that’s something that can’t be measured by numbers.

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