The UK has an increasing problem with obesity, particularly amongst children of primary school age.
A recent report found that over 60 percent of adults in England are at risk of developing chronic health problems due to their weight.
In 2020, a huge 67 percent of men and 60 percent of women were either overweight or obese.
That is over 35 million individuals.
These problems commonly stem from habits picked up in childhood and the figures back it up.
Incredibly, 9.9 percent of reception age children (age 4-5) are obese, with a further 13.1 percent overweight.
At age 10-11 (year 6), 21.0 percent are obese and 14.1 percent overweight.
Poor diet and not enough exercise are at the heart of Britain’s weight-pandemic.
UK-wide NHS costs attributable to overweight and obese individuals are projected to reach £9.7 billion by 2050, according to official government statistics.
But just how much exercise should your child be doing every day?
Babies (under 12 months)
the NHS states that babies should be encouraged to be active throughout the day, this includes crawling.
If they are not yet crawling, parents should try and get their baby to reach, grasp, push, pull and encourage movement in their limbs during day-to-day routines.
Babies should be active throughout the day, every day in a variety of ways, including crawling.
“Try to include at least 30 minutes of tummy time spread throughout the day when they’re awake,” guidelines state.
Tummy time means laying babies on their stomachs for brief periods while they are not sleeping.
It is important in strengthening their neck, shoulders and improves motor skills ahead of crawling.
Once they are able to crawl, parents should ensure they are as active as possible in a safe, supervised environment.
Toddlers (aged 1 to 2)
Spread out across the day, toddlers should be active for at least three hours a day including play outside.
In fact, the NHS states the more exercise the better.
The 180 minutes may include light activity such as, rolling and playing, as well as more energetic activity like skipping, hopping, running and jumping.
Playing on “climbing frame, riding a bike, playing in water, chasing games and ball games”, are the best way for this age group to get moving and develop athletic skills.
Preschoolers (aged 3 to 4)
Similar to the guidance for toddlers, the more exercise this age group does the better, with a minimum of three hours a day.
The 180 minutes should include at least “60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity”.
Children under five should not be inactive for hours at a time, except of course when they are asleep.
Extended periods of sedentary behavior such as watching TV, traveling or being strapped into a buggy will negatively impact your child’s psychical and mental well-being.