What do we know?
There is growing concern about the lack of physical activity opportunities and the increase in inactivity of children in early years.
Inactivity or sedentary behaviour are activities which involve low levels of energy and occur whilst children are seated or lying
Inactivity in under 5’s is associated with excessive weight gain and lower cognitive development.
Some children are spending excessive amounts of time inactive through watching TV or using electronic media, being restrained in car seats and pushchairs or through sitting whilst playing.
Confining equipment such as car seats, strollers, high chairs, and cots restrict the natural movements of infants and thus should be used for their primary purpose only. E.g. Using a highchair for meal times and a car seat for duration of the journey only.
Under 5’s should not be restrained or kept inactive for more than one hour at a time with the exception of sleeping.
Studies show there is a link between higher levels of physical activity in early years leading to more sustained participation in physical activity in later life.
Establishing physical activity as part of their daily routine from birth will give your child the best start.
The learning and growth gained from being physically active is important for developing physical, social, emotional and intellectual skills.
Suzy Startwell Says...
Parents, practitioners and other adults working closely with children must ensure that they are not only providing lots of opportunity for physical activity, but that they join in and show being active as fun.