Physical activity guidelines for young people
This set of guidelines applies to children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years. During this period, children and young people establish behaviour patterns that have important implications for both their immediate and long-term health and well-being.
Physical activity guidelines for children and young people
- All children and young people should engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day.
- Vigorous intensity activities, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, should be incorporated at least three days a week.
- All children and young people should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.
These guidelines are designed to help professionals and practitioners working with children and young people understand the type and amount of physical activity children and young people should do to benefit their health. We are currently developing resources which will translate these guidelines into appropriate physical activity messages for young people and their parents.
Support and dissemination
BHF National Centre
The BHFNC has produced a booklet designed to assist those who work with children and young people to interpret the UK physical activity guidelines into appropriate messages. This document helps explain what the guidelines are, what types and amounts of physical activity children should do and why this is important.
A BHFNC evidence briefing is also available focusing on children and young people aged 5-18. It looks at the available research evidence for the benefits of physical activity for this age group and paints a picture of how active children and young people across the UK currently are.
Two BHFNC practice briefings have been produced looking at practical strategies for promoting physical activity with children (aged 6-11) and young people (aged 11-18). These briefings provide evidence-based suggestions and practical ideas.
Public Health England
An infographic has been created to help health professionals, parents and teachers to support the physical activity needs of the children and young people entrusted to their care. It provides practical examples of activities that count towards the 60 minutes of activity, information about the benefits of physical activity for children and young people and clearly presents the guidelines.
Department of Health
To support these guidelines the Department of Health has produced a factsheet summarising the guidelines for this age group.
Change4Life has a range of tools and ideas to help children and young people be more active. For further information visit www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/change-for-life-families
NHS Choices is the country's biggest health website and provides information to allow people to make choices about their health. For NHS Choices' information about physical activity for children and young people visit www.nhs.uk/livewell/fitness/pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-young-people