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New Zealand plans physical activity resources for under 5s

New Zealand plans physical activity resources for under 5s
April 14, 2016

Health Minister and Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman has advised that the New Zealand is to develop new guidelines on physical activity for children under the age of five.

Welcoming the release of a review into the resources and guidance on physical activity for children under-five, which will inform new guidelines, Dr Coleman stated “developing new guidelines on physical activity for under-fives is one of the initiatives in the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan.

“We’re now one of the few countries in the OECD with an obesity target and a comprehensive evidence based programme to support it.

“Children under five learn basic skills through movement and play. These skills enable them to form good habits for life.

“Regular movement and physical activity helps children maintain a healthy body weight and develop muscle and bone health, hand-eye coordination and balance, and communication skills.

“It’s important families are supported to help children be active and healthy, as well as get the right amount of sleep. This review and its recommendations will inform new guidelines which are in line with current evidence.

“These guidelines will form the basis of resources that health practitioners and early childhood education providers can use with parents and families.”

The Ministry of Health will work with Sport NZ and the Health Promotion Agency to develop the new physical activity guidelines for under-fives as part of the Eating and Activity Guidelines Series.

The Review of Physical Activity Guidance and Resources for Under-Fives considered recent literature on physical activity, screen time, and the growing body of evidence on the importance of adequate sleep for young children. It also sought feedback from stakeholders on current resources for under-fives.

The Review can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website at www.health.govt.nz

Images courtesy of Wanaka Pool (top) and Nature Play (below).

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