Like good nutrition, regular physical activity is fundamental to health and wellbeing. Furthermore, for children, physical activity underpins healthy physical and social development. It also helps to protect against the development of chronic diseases like cardiovascular heart disease, diabetes and some cancers and has also been shown to improve psychological health. Finally, physical activity is an important factor in weight management for children, adolescents and adults, particularly the maintenance of a healthy weight.
Physical activity guidance in Australia recommends children and adolescents spend at least 60 minutes a day participating in moderate to vigorous activity and no more than two hours a day in sedentary activities such as TV and computer games. While research suggests that most children in Australia meet this physical activity guideline (though girls meet it less often than boys and both boys and girls are less likely to meet the guidelines as they get older), the news for sedentary behaviour isn’t so positive with few children meeting the criteria of less than 2 hours per day.
Adults are recommended to achieve 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days. Research from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2007 reported that 72% of Australian adults did not meet these recommendations.
Better Health Resources provide a suite of resources to assist children and adults to increase levels of physical activity and decrease the amount of time spent in sedentary activities. The physical activity resources are based on government guidance and recommendations and the best available evidence to ensure practical and effective behaviour change.