10 April 2019

New national physical activity and sleep guidelines for 5-17 year olds

The Federal Department of Health has released updated national guidelines to promote healthier and more active children.

The Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Young People (5-17 years) provide recommendations on the right balance of physical activity, inactivity and sleep.

A healthy 24 hours includes:

  • 9–11 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night for younger children (5–13 years)
  • 8–10 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night for teens (14–17 years)
  • Consistent bed and wake-up times.
Physical activity
  • Aim for 60 minutes or more per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity. The more huff and puff the better
  • Several hours of a variety of light physical activities 
  • Activities that are vigorous, as well as those that strengthen muscle and bone should be incorporated at least three days per week.
  • Move more and sit less in your spare time
  • Limit sedentary recreational screen time to no more than two hours a day 
  • Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.

Other guidelines provide recommendations for other age groups.

See the Federal Department of Health (external site) for more information.