I am
Show me:
Show me:
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....

Physical activity action plan

Physical activity action 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....

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking

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

Healthy Active by Design

Healthy Active by Design

Healthy Active by Design

Improving the design of our cities, towns, streets and buildings makes it easier for Australians to lead heart-healthy lives....

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Resources available for built environment professionals to help guide in the development of active outdoor and indoor spaces....

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart teaches school children how to keep fit and healthy through skipping!...

Getting active at school

Getting active at school

Getting active at school

Physical activity resources for school staff....

Surprising ways your family can meet the challenge to keep active

Surprising ways your family can meet the challenge to keep active

Surprising ways your family can meet the challenge to keep active

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....

This Father’s Day share the ways you protect your heart

This Father’s Day share the ways you protect your heart

This Father’s Day share the ways you protect your heart

Have you thought about what you are getting for your children this Father’s Day?...

Physical activity and your heart health

Physical activity and your heart health

Physical activity and your heart health

Physical activity and exercise can benefit your heart, body and mind....

Walk away from heart disease

Walk away from heart disease

Walk away from heart disease

Get started with more physical activity

Get started with more physical activity

Get started with more physical activity

Finding time for physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your heart...

Sit less, move more

Sit less, move more

Sit less, move more

You may be surprised to know that on average, adults sit for nine hours a day....

Staying active for better heart health

Staying active for better heart health

Staying active for better heart health

Moving more every day is one of the best habits you can have....

Types of physical activity

Types of physical activity

Types of physical activity

Nine out of 10 Australians could reduce the risk of heart disease by walking as little as 15 minutes more each day....

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Our range of clinical and patient support resources are available for you to use in your daily practice....

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

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

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join the Heart Foundation community. Together, we can make a real difference for Australian hearts. ...

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Sign up now and discover delicious, easy to follow dinner recipes. Plus shopping lists, tips and other helpful information to make healthy eating easy. ...

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy is something you can work on every day. ...

How to make healthier meals at home

How to make healthier meals at home

How to make healthier meals at home

Cooking at home is often healthier than eating out....

The NSW Cardiac Rehabilitation Working Group

The NSW Cardiac Rehabilitation Working Group

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...

General Practitioner Survey 2020

General Practitioner Survey 2020

This survey has been designed to collect feedback from general practitioners about their awareness and use of Heart Foundation materials....

The Heart Foundation Research Program

The Heart Foundation Research Program

The Heart Foundation Research Program

We are Australia’s biggest non-government funder of world-class research into heart health. Learn more about our high impact research. ...

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Partner with us to help us fight for Australian hearts....

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Heart Foundation supports Wollongong City Council’s draft 10-year cycling strategy

Media Release - 30 June 2020 ...

Sit less, move more

Sit less, move more

Sit less, move more

You may be surprised to know that on average, adults sit for nine hours a day....

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Heart failure resources for patients

Heart failure resources for patients

Educate your patients on everything they need to know about heart failure and managing their condition. ...

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Training Centre

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Training Centre

Training to support identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, in line with standard practice....

Practice Nurse Survey 2020

Practice Nurse Survey 2020

This survey has been designed to collect feedback from practice nurses about their awareness and use of Heart Foundation materials....

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management resources for health professionals...

Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

The Australian Guideline for Prevention, Diagnosis and Management of Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease (2nd Edition)​....

Healthy Active by Design

Healthy Active by Design

Healthy Active by Design

Improving the design of our cities, towns, streets and buildings makes it easier for Australians to lead heart-healthy lives....

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart teaches school children how to keep fit and healthy through skipping!...

Heart failure clinical resources

Heart failure clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Physical activity resources for patients and consumers

Physical activity resources for patients and consumers

Physical activity information for professionals...

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

Ask the experts: caring for people with CVD during COVID-19...

Australian Heart Maps

Australian Heart Maps

Australian Heart Maps

Our Heart Maps allow you to take a closer look at heart disease indicators across Australia....

Heart stories

Heart stories

Heart stories

Stories of hope from Australian men and women fighting heart disease....