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Thursday 20th June 2019

Under-5s exercise advice

11th July 2011

Parents are being issued with exercise advice for the first time their children aged under five.


The government is concerned about the amount of time babies and toddlers spend strapped in buggies or car seats and urges them to be allowed to move around or be physically active for at least three hours a day.

The Chief Medical Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have jointly issued the new guidance.

Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, said: “For children that are not yet walking, there is considerable international evidence that letting children crawl, play or roll around on the floor is essential during early years.

“Play that allows under-fives to move about is critical and three hours a day is essential.

“I think there are parents who are not aware how important it is for their children to be physically active for a minimum of three hours. Other parents are very busy and may not see how important it is to get that prioritisation and balance right.”

Evidence suggests that only about 30% of children in England aged 2-15 get the recommended amount of exercise.

The charity and campaign group The Children's Society says many parents need help in order to ensure their children get enough exercise.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health welcomed the guidance and said it offered “an excellent first step” with active childhood helping to lay the foundations for an adulthood “with less risk of health problems such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.”


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Wednesday 13th July 2011 @ 19:12

Does anyone have an indication on why the government feels the need to issue this guidance? Is there evidence of under 5s (who are naturally very active) getting less exercise? Or of children not being allowed to crawl about? This would be of greater concern if there is evidence of this.

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