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Physical Activity in Children

What are the guidelines?

  • 60 minutes. The recommended amount of physical activity for school aged children is at least 60 minutes per day

What are the benefits of physical activity?

  • Agility, balance and co-ordination
  • Improved self esteem and mood
  • Better energy levels
  • Better sleep quality

How big is the problem?

  • 4 out of 5 children (ROI) and 3 out of 4 children (NI) NOT meeting the guideline

TV viewing figures

  • 34% of preschool children have a TV in their bedroom
  • 2.2 hours: Average amount of time preschool children spend watching TV daily

Walking to school figures

  • 1981: 50%, 2014: 25%

Key tips for parents

  • Replace screen time with active games
  • Build activity into everyday routines
  • Get involved and get active
  • Children don't have to do it all at once. They can build it up over the day



Childhood Obesity. The Facts.

facts on childhood obesity infogrpahicAbout childhood obesity

  • 1 in 4 children is overweight or obese
  • Obese children are likely to become obese adults
  • Parent's find it difficult to recognise that their child's weight is not healthy

About physical activity

  • 3/4 children in Northern Ireland do not meet Government Physical Activity Guidelines
  • 4/5 children in the Republic of Ireland do not meet Government Physical Activity Guidelines
  • Preschool children on the island of Ireland watch an average of 2 hours 9 minutes television a day
  • 34% of preschool children have a TV in their bedroom

About children's diets

  • Many children do not meet the dietary recommendations for fruit and vegetables, saturated fat or sugar
  • 1/5 of the energy intake from a child's diet comes from sugary drinks, biscuits, confectionary, chocolate and cake

What are the consequences?

Short term effects

  • Problems with bone heath
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Phsycological and social issues

Long term effects


infographic about physical activity for chidren

© The Food Safety Promotion Board