by Daile Cross
Many childcare workers do not know how much physical activity children need, let alone how to ensure their exercise needs are met, Telethon Kids Institute researchers say.
Lead researcher, Associate Professor Hayley Christian, said only one-third of children aged two to five achieved the recommended daily dose of exercise.
Nature Play chief executive officer and Play Active partner Griffin Longley said targets could be met through unstructured play, outside “mucking around” time, and structured programs.
“The benefits of energetic play and play outdoors are enormous – it’s the bedrock of a happy and healthy childhood – and it’s really the way that we engage the intrinsic motivation of kids to be active, to imagine, to create, and to be social,” he said.
“Through that, they’re healthier, their mental health is improved, their cognitive development increases.”