New guidelines from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) recommend that children be physically active for at least 60 minutes per day - and longer if possible.
According to the NASPE, a nonprofit organization for fitness and physical activity professionals, "extended periods of inactivity are not appropriate for normal, healthy children... inactive children and youth are much more likely to be sedentary as adults than children and youth who are active."
The NASPE also stated, "children and youth who have active parents and family members and who do physical activities with them are more likely to be active than those who are not active with family members... 'children' develop skills through involvement in physical activity... only through devoting time to these skills will they become a regular part of a healthy lifestyle."
Other recommendations of the NASPE include:
- schools need to make time for physical activity in a child's day.
- youngsters should be exposed to a variety of activities.
- continue to encourage motor skill development.
- some of a child's physical activity each day "should be in periods lasting 10 to 15 minutes or more and include moderate to vigorous activity."
- activities that can be done throughout a lifetime should be encouraged.
- National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) in Reston, Virginia.