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ESSA Statement: Government releases new movement guidelines for young children

With the Turnbull Government releasing new movement guidelines to help parents and caregivers create healthy daily practices for young children, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) welcomes the new guidelines, hoping it will help bridge the gap within physical literacy for children.

“Currently there is a lack of physical literacy available to parents and family of children, specifically the ‘tools’ children need to be physically active to benefit their health,” explains ESSA Chief Executive Officer, Anita Hobson-Powell.

“These new guidelines provide advice on screen time, active play, time spent sitting and lying down, and the ideal amount of sleep from birth to age 5, which will help close that gap.”

The 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years has been developed by experts across Australia, including national and international stakeholders and in partnership with Canada.

“Following the new guidelines is associated with better growth, stronger muscles and bones, better learning and thinking, better mental, emotional and social well-being, better motor skills, healthier weight, as well as reduced injuries,” reports the release from the Turnbull Government.

The evidence supporting the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines is reported to be so strong that the approach is being considered by the World Health Organisation for the development of global guidelines for children under the age of 5 years.

“We have national reports telling us that only a poorly 19% of young children are accumulating the recommended 60 minutes of exercise a day. If we have new and improved guidelines for children at their earliest years, hopefully we can see an improvement in the physical health of our children as we move forward,” adds Ms Hobson-Powell.

Earlier this year, ESSA launched its Exercise Right for Kids platform, to provide information and resources to parents, caregivers, coaches, teachers, friends and family of children living with chronic conditions or illnesses on how they can exercise right for their health.

Information about the Exercise Right for Kids platform is available on the Exercise Right website.

You can access the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years on the Department of Health’s website.