10 April 2019

New national 24-hour movement guidelines for 5-17 year olds

The Federal Department of Health has released updated 24-hour movement guidelines for 5 to 17 year olds

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.

The updated guidelines recommend the following:


  • Younger children (5–13 years) need 9–11 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
  • Teens (14–17 years) need 8–10 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
  • 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 eg playing in the sandpit or hide and seek.
  • Activities that are vigorous, as well as those that strengthen muscle and bone should be incorporated at least three days per week.

Sedentary behaviour

  • Move more and sit less in your spare time.
  • Limit sedentary recreational screen time to no more than two hours per day.
  • Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.
  • Other guidelines provide recommendations for other age groups.

The guidelines can assist healthcare workers in supporting patients to achieve optimal health.

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