I am
Get your family moving
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Get your family moving

Get your kids active and set them up for healthier habits into adulthood.

Key takeaways

  • Toddlers and pre-school children should be active for at least three hours per day
  • Children and teenagers should be active for at least 60 minutes per day
  • Research suggests that sitting less (as well as being physically active) helps to reduce the risk of children and young people developing health and other problems in later life.
3 min read
Did you know that 80% of 5–17 year olds aren’t active enough according to Australian physical activity guidelines?

And that 70% of them spend more than 2 hours a day in front of a screen for recreation? (Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Health Survey, 2010–11)

Inactive kids are likely to become inactive adults. But there are simple things you can do to change this.

Making physical activity a priority for your family sets a positive example and it’s a great way to spend quality time together. It’s good for you, and it helps your family establish healthy habits.

What to aim for

We support Australia’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines, which include the following recommendations: 

  • Toddlers and pre-schoolers should be physically active every day for at least 3 hours.
  • Children and teenagers should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.
  • Children and teenagers should limit use of electronic media for entertainment (e.g. television, seated electronic games and computer) to 2 hours per day.
For more detailed guidance by age group, visit Australia’s Physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines website.

Why get your family moving

Active kids have improved concentration, better self-confidence and stronger muscles and bones.

Research suggests that sitting less (as well as being physically active) helps to reduce the risk of children and young people developing health and other problems in later life. Watching television, using a computer and playing electronic games all contribute to children and young people’s sitting times, so that’s why we recommend limiting them. 

Tips for getting your family active

Be active when you’re travelling

  • Walk or cycle to school with your kids once or twice a week instead of driving them. 
  • If you live too far from school for your children to walk, park the car a 10-minute walk from school. 

Limit screen time

  • Limit how much time your family watches television, uses a computer and plays electronic games, e.g. before or after school (particularly during daylight hours).
  • Remove televisions, computers and electronic games from bedrooms, and limit the number of screens you have at home.
  • Use a timer or an alarm clock to keep track of how much time your children spend watching television, using a computer or playing electronic games.
  • Try to have at least one full day every week where your family doesn’t watch television, use a computer or play electronic games.

Plan active family time

  • Play together as a family. Join your kids on a bike ride, play hide-and-seek, or play cricket with them at the beach. 
  • Give your children active alternatives to screens. Keep a box of skipping ropes, Frisbees, balls and hula hoops.
  • Plan family activities that involve walking. Going to the zoo, a picnic in a local park, a day at the fun park or a visit to local historic sites will have the family on their feet and walking without them even knowing it.
  • Get the kids involved in the garden. They’ll stay active digging, weeding and planting, and, if you grow herbs and vegetables, learn valuable lessons about where food comes from.
 

You might also be interested in

7 tips for staying healthy over winter

7 tips for staying healthy over winter

7 tips for staying healthy over winter

Tips for healthy eating and recipe ideas over winter and how to exercise when it's cold outside. ...

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Physical activity and exercise can do wonders for your physical and mental health....

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Discover what you need to know about being active after a heart attack....

Active Australia Innovation Challenge

Active Australia Innovation Challenge

Active Australia Innovation Challenge

Make your bright idea a reality....

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Feel healthier and happier in six weeks with a free Personal Walking Plan...

Exercises to do at home

Exercises to do at home

Exercises to do at home

All you need to know about keeping active during COVID-19....

Get active during winter

Get active during winter

Get active during winter

Get ready to go with our winter workout tips....

Physical activity action plan

Physical activity action plan

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking

Learn more about Heart Foundation Walking and find your local walking group....

Research Directory

Research Directory

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Pregnancy and heart disease

Pregnancy and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Supporting Young Hearts Podcast

Supporting Young Hearts Podcast

Supporting Young Hearts Podcast

Supporting Young Hearts is a six-episode series interviewing young people with lived experience of heart conditions and talking through advice for supporting emotional health and well-being....

Blueprint for an active Australia 

Blueprint for an active Australia 

Blueprint for an active Australia 

The Blueprint for an active Australia provides evidence-based actions to help address physical inactivity....

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Information and resources for healthcare professionals....

Tasty recipes to start the day | Breakfast Recipe Booklet

Tasty recipes to start the day | Breakfast Recipe Booklet

Tasty recipes to start the day | Breakfast Recipe Booklet

Have an easy and delicious start to your day. Get your free copy now....

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Your role as a carer for a heart attack patient is an important one – explore some useful things to know....

Meatloaf

Meatloaf

40-50 minutes
Serves 6

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a condition where your heart isn’t pumping as well as it should be....

Vegetarian lasagne

Vegetarian lasagne

Vegetarian lasagne

1 hour
Serves 6

Baking recipes

Baking recipes

Baking recipes

Find heart healthy baking recipes ...

Our corporate partners

Our corporate partners

Our corporate partners

We value the support of all of our corporate partners....

Register your cardiac service with the Heart Foundation

Register your cardiac service with the Heart Foundation

This cardiac services directory presents information on cardiac rehab programs offered across Australia....

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Discover what you need to know about being active after a heart attack....

What is acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease?

What is acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease?

What is acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease?

Rheumatic heart disease is a serious disease that causes damage to your heart valves. ...

Q&A with Dr Shiang Lim

Q&A with Dr Shiang Lim

Q&A with Dr Shiang Lim

A new nanodrug to protect the heart from damage after heart attack...

Italian recipes

Italian recipes

Italian recipes

Find heart healthy Italian recipes....

Protein and heart health

Protein and heart health

Protein and heart health

What are the best sources of protein when it come to your heart health...

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of hypertension....

Your heart medicines

Your heart medicines

Your heart medicines

Information about commonly prescribed heart medicines. ...

Key Statistics: Coronary Heart Disease

Key Statistics: Coronary Heart Disease

Statistics and information on coronary heart disease in Australia ...

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Explore the Heart Foundation’s guide on what to expect in the first month after your heart attack. ...

Blood cholesterol

Blood cholesterol

Blood cholesterol

Keeping your blood cholesterol at a healthy level can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and other serious conditions. ...

Long-term recovery after a heart attack

Long-term recovery after a heart attack

Long-term recovery after a heart attack

Information to help you adjust to what could be the 'new normal'...

Leaving a gift in your Will: A lasting legacy

Leaving a gift in your Will: A lasting legacy

Leaving a gift in your Will: A lasting legacy

One of the most powerful ways to help support a future without heart disease is to include a gift to the Heart Foundation in your Will...

Physical activity in the workplace

Physical activity in the workplace

Physical activity in the workplace

Resources to help you create a more physically active workplace....

Donate Monthly | Become a Regular Donor

Donate Monthly | Become a Regular Donor

Donate Monthly | Become a Regular Donor

Join the fight against heart disease....

Donation receipts

Donation receipts

Donation receipts

Due to end of financial year and the ongoing lockdowns in several states, we are currently experiencing some delays in processing and receipting of donations....