New Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Young People (5-17 years) released

On 4 April 2019, the new Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for children and young people aged 5–17 were released. These new guidelines detail the objectives for physical activity participation, decreasing inappropriate sedentary behaviour and increasing the amount of sufficient sleep for optimal health benefits.

Importantly, the Guidelines recommend that children and young people participate in a range of physical activities in a variety of environments and contexts.

Children and young people are encouraged to live an active lifestyle with a daily balance of physical activities, sedentary behaviours and sleep that supports their healthy development, irrespective of gender, cultural or linguistic background, geographic location, or the socio-economic status of the family.

Informed by the best available evidence, expert consensus, stakeholder consultation, and consideration of values and preferences, applicability, feasibility, resource use (cost) and equity, the updated Guidelines communicate information and recommendations on the amount and type of physical activity required for health benefits, limiting sedentary behaviour and getting adequate sleep.

Following these Guidelines is associated with better body composition, cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal fitness, cardiovascular and metabolic health, academic achievement and cognition, mental health and quality of life, emotional regulation, and pro-social behaviours.

24-Hour Movement Guidelines overview

As per the Department of Health website, for optimal health benefits, children and young people (aged 5–17 years) should achieve the recommended balance of high levels of physical activity, low levels of sedentary behaviour, and sufficient sleep each day. A healthy 24 hours includes:

  • Accumulating 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day involving mainly aerobic activities
  • Several hours of a variety of light physical activities
  • Limiting sedentary recreational screen time to no more than 2 hours per day
  • Breaking up long periods of sitting as often as possible
  • An uninterrupted 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night for those aged 5–13 years, and 8 to 10 hours per night for those aged 14–17 years
  • Consistent bed and wake-up times, and;
  • Activities that are vigorous, as well as those that strengthen muscle and bone should be incorporated at least 3 days per week.
Click here to download the new Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Young People (5-17 years) in PDF format (82KB) >>

ACHPER members play a huge role in facilitating these objectives through their daily work utilising the curriculum of Health and Physical Education (HPE), sport education, promoting active transport, as well as other physical activity promoting opportunities at school (active classrooms, school sport).

To help children and young people each their full potential and develop life-long healthy habits and attitudes to physical activity and overall mental and physical wellness, the delivery of a quality HPE program is vital.

If you or your school requires support to design and implement a HPE Program that helps fulfil the new Australian 24-hr Movement Guidelines, click here to learn more about our consultancy services, and please get in touch.