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ESSA encourages parents to introduce positive exercise habits outside of school activities

ESSA encourages parents to introduce positive exercise habits outside of school activities
January 27, 2021

Many children across Australia return to school today, and to ensure children stay healthy and happy throughout their school year, Exercise and Sports Science Australia is encouraging parents to consider introducing positive exercise habits outside of their schoolyard activities.

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) Chief Executive, Anita Hobson-Powell notes “Exercise and physical activity are vital for the physical, mental and social well-being of Australian kids. It’s not only vital for children’s sleep and preventing chronic disease, it also provides a range of other benefits such as developing social skills and decision-making skills.”

To keep healthy, children should be moving for at least 60 minutes a day as per the Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines. However, while over two-thirds of Australian children are participating in organised out-of-school sport, fewer than 30% (aged 5–14) are actually meeting the daily physical activity recommendations.

Hobson-Powell adds “as our children walk through those school gates, as parents, we cannot assume that they will get all the physical activity that they require whilst there, so it is up to us to get our children moving more.

“This can include incorporating movement in daily activities from a young age and ensuring it’s fun and simple, signing children up for community sports, or even joining them for a backyard game of cricket or soccer.”

As technology continues to play a bigger role in the lives of Australian children, so too does the subsequent increase in sedentary behaviour. Therefore, it can be hard to expect children to always want to pick physical activity and sport over screen-time.

Hobson-Powell highlights that “research tells us that a child that has a parent who is active is over 200% more likely to be involved in organised physical activity. This directly indicates to us that parents have more influence than they realise.”

To help encourage Australian children and families to become more active, and educate them on the many benefits of physical activity, ESSA published a free “Exercise for Kids” eBook.

The Exercise for Kids eBook is a free resource and a vital tool to be used by those who are involved in the development of children’s health – whether they be coaches, teachers or GPs – but most importantly the eBook is available to parents and guardians.

“This eBook has been compiled with the help of Accredited Exercise Physiologists and Accredited Exercise Scientists, the experts of exercise, who are working together to encourage healthy lifestyles for not only children and adolescents, but all Australians,” adds Hobson-Powell.

ESSA’s top tips for parents to include more movement into daily life:

• Organised sport – Encourage and develop your child’s skills through an organised sport such as soccer, tennis or gymnastics. Contact your local sporting club to find out more about costs, timings and requirements. Some states even offer “vouchers” for parents and carers of school-enrolled children to use towards sport and active recreation costs each year.

• Access local facilities – Many local councils have excellent lists of walking tracks, cycling routes, parks and recreation locations. Make the most of the free equipment and locations to keep your family active.

• Plan ahead – Make a family planner that includes set ‘activity’ times e.g., family bike ride, park runs, nature walks. Planning will help the whole family set dedicated time aside to move.

• Active transport – Active transport to and from school is an excellent way to introduce more activity in to both your own and your child’s day. It can be as simple as parking a little further from school and walking for pickups and drop offs.

• Seek professional help – If your child is living with a chronic condition or a disability then an accredited exercise professional can assist in developing a physical activity plan to suit their individual needs. You can find an ESSA accredited exercise professional here www.essa.org.au/find-aep

To access the free ESSA published “Exercise for Kids” eBook click here 

Related Articles

17th November 2020 - ESSA partners with 10,000 Steps to encourage participation in the After Work Walk campaign

3rd November 2020 - ESSA releases free ebook promoting physical activity benefits for older adults

13th August 2020 - ESSA releases free eBook promoting physical activity benefits for Australian children

16th June 2020 - ESSA highlights the importance of movement for men’s mental health

10th June 2020 - ESSA urges a considered return to the gym

19th May 2020 - ESSA highlights the importance of movement this Exercise Right Week

23rd March 2020 - ESSA launches campaign promoting physical activity during COVID-19

14th January 2020 - ESSA delivers government subsidised classes to older Australians

24th December 2019 - ESSA highlights the benefits of staying active over the festive season

3rd September 2019 - ESSA highlights the power of exercise this Women’s Health Week

11th June 2019 - ESSA highlights the importance of movement this Men’s Health Week

29th May 2019 - ESSA launches Reconciliation Action Plan during National Reconciliation Week

10th May 2019 - ESSA focuses on Active Ageing during Exercise Right Week 2019

21st March 2019 - ESSA highlights the role of physical activity in closing the health gap for Indigenous populations

8th March 2019 - ESSA celebrates industry pioneers on International Women’s Day

12th February 2019 - ESSA releases free eBook outlining the benefits of exercise for women’s health and wellness

5th February 2019 - ESSA’s Exercise Right secures Active Ageing program funding

27th January 2019 - ESSA urges not to give up on resolutions to get active


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