TORONTO – New guidelines set the minimum amount of activity that toddlers, preschoolers and even babies should get each day.
The new report was developed by experts including the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology; obesity specialists at Ottawa’s Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario; and the non-profit group ParticipAction.
The “24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years” suggests kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity spread throughout the day.
That includes at least one hour of “energetic play” for three- and four-year-olds – something that previously wasn’t recommended until age five. Suggestions include running, dancing, or playing outside.
Babies, too, should work on daily goals. Researchers suggest those younger than 12 months get at least 30 minutes of “tummy time” spread throughout the day. It’s the first time this group has been assigned a minimum duration of what could be considered exercise.