The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provide science-based guidance to help those ages 3 and older improve their health through regular physical activity. For the first time in over a decade, the Physical Activity Guidelines shares a new recommendation update for kids.
The 2nd edition reflects new knowledge obtained since the original edition was released in 2008, including guidance for preschool children (ages 3-5 years old).
Key Guidelines for Preschool-Aged Children
- Ages: 3-5 years old
- Average target amount of physical activity: 3 hours per day of various intensity levels (light, moderate, vigorous)
Preschool-aged children should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development.
Adult caregivers of preschool-aged children should encourage active play that includes a variety of activity types, such as:
- Throwing games
- Bike Riding
Key Guidelines for School-Aged Children and Adolescents
- Ages: 6-17 years old
- Average target amount of physical activity: 1 hour or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day
School-aged youth experience the greatest gains in bone mass during the years just before and during puberty, with the majority of peak bone mass obtained at the end of adolescence.
School-aged children and adolescents should be encouraged to participate in a variety of physical activities for bone and muscle strength that are appropriate for their age, such as:
- Jump roping
- Bike riding
- Playing tug-a-war
- Climbing trees
- Lifting weights
- Resistance band training
- Jump roping
Benefits of Physically Active Children and Adolescents
Children and adolescence are critical periods for developing movement skills, learning healthy habits, and establishing a solid foundation for lifelong health and wellbeing.
There are many benefits of physically active children and adolescents, including:
- Higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness
- Stronger muscles
- Lower body fat
- Stronger bones
- Improved cognition (for school-aged children)
- Reduces symptoms of depression (school-aged children)
- Lowers risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or osteoporosis
Bottom line? Every minute counts! Encourage kids to pursue a variety of physical activities they enjoy. Wellbeats features 5 different physical activity channels for kids ages 3-14*, including:
Wellbeats Channels for Kids
- Purposeful Play channel – story-telling, explorative activities for ages 3-5
- Move Me!™ channel – engaging, cognitive-focused movements for ages 6-9
- Generation Fit channel – effective strength and conditioning exercises for ages 6-14
- Sports Ready channel – injury-reducing “prehab” training for ages 6-14
- BOSU® Sports Kids channel – exercises for balance and coordination using a BOSU® for ages 6-14
*May vary according to Wellbeats content subscription package