Author Topic: 3 hours physical activity- what counts?  (Read 752 times)

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Offline Pinkviolet

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3 hours physical activity- what counts?
« on: June 10, 2015, 21:27:50 pm »
I keeping reading that 1-3 year olds need 3 hours physical activity daily. What counts as physical activity? I mean, I know playing at the park/ running& walking/ soft play all count, but what about an hour and a half spent toddling around at playgroup playing with toys etc. or an hour at swimming (even though constantly being held by mum/dad) or playing in the sand pit which is more stationary or just toddling around the house? Do these things count too?

Offline Erin M

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Re: 3 hours physical activity- what counts?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 02:49:36 am »
I would personally think all of that counts -- as long as your LO isn't just sitting passively and watching TV, playing with electronics, listening to stories, things like that.  Even if you're holding LO at swimming, I think they still get quite a bit of exercise!  I think it's also just something to think about if your LO isn't sleeping well.  I know on days when my ds is at school for longer periods of time and running around outside more, he tends to need more sleep!

Offline Katet

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Re: 3 hours physical activity- what counts?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 03:02:48 am »
I would personally think all of that counts -- as long as your LO isn't just sitting passively and watching TV, playing with electronics, listening to stories, things like that.  Even if you're holding LO at swimming, I think they still get quite a bit of exercise!  I

I'd agree, the exercise is just as important when it is just he random toddling because that is when they relax the brain as well as exercise the body. From my experiences it is more about them getting the freedom of 'active play' that they control rather than being in an organised structured way such as sports class where the exercise is controlled & can cause stress rather than release it. The main idea (at least my research for older children) is for them to associate the positive body feelings of doing active things 'they want to' so they keep wanting to be physically active. So in many way a forced walk just to get exercise is not necessarily as good for their whole well being as just exploring the back yard.

dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline creations

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Re: 3 hours physical activity- what counts?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2015, 07:59:59 am »
This may help
http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-children.aspx
Just standing up counts as light physical activity. It gives some info about the balance of light and energetic physical activity and that both count.
The energetic physical activity is quite obvious (the things you mention such as soft play, play park, running, dancing).
Light activity might be
- standing to paint at an upright easel (or tape paper to the kitchen cupboard or fridge which is easily wiped down)
- standing to do stickers at an upright easel (as above)
- standing/moving around whilst a book is being read to them (some people force children to sit for stories, no need)
- standing to 'read' books (mine might roll around on the floor or stand with the book on the sofa, again no need to sit still for looking at books)
- standing at a water table, kitchen sink for water play, train table, craft table for cutting and gluing activities
- hide and seek (even indoors)
- walking around the supermarket, helping find the right foods and pushing the trolley (rather than sitting in it)
- putting shopping away (lifting and carrying)
- standing to play musical instruments
- standing at the kitchen counter to help prepare food
- setting the table (walking back and forth to the kitchen to bring condiments etc)
- watering the garden (which might be light activity rather than digging which may be energetic)
- playing in a sand pit which you mentioned, involves lifting sifting, digging, patting, even though sat down it is still light physical activity
- dance DVD (mine doesn't do much of the dancing which would be more energetic but even so he is still on the move when watching)
- crawling along the floor pushing cars or moving toy people
(it may help to contrast with an inactive child, one who is kept in a car or pushchair for long periods, sat in the shopping trolley seat, told to sit still for books/TV/craft, kept in a high chair for long periods)

They all sound like very simple things and not huge on the huffing and puffing brought on with energetic activity but these relatively small things all make a difference and can lead to actually quite a small amount of the day being inactive.  More light physical activity can be given by making small changes in daily activities.


Offline Pinkviolet

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Re: 3 hours physical activity- what counts?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2015, 12:00:59 pm »
Thank you all for your reply and creations as ever for such a detailed response. I really appreciate it. I'm just trying to figure out if my little man has enough physical activity but now, having read this Im sure he does. He is a very active little person and is rarely strapped in the buggy etc. for periods if time. Although it is getting more difficult to walk anywhere with him as he likes to go where he wants to go and only that way! ;)