Cancer Council Queensland has joined calls from public health experts to get kids off the couch and moving for their health these school holidays.
Less than half of Queensland children aged five to 17 years get enough exercise, and 34 per cent average two or more hours of screen time daily, exceeding the recommended guideline.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the school holidays were an ideal time to help kids set new healthy habits.
“Australian guidelines recommended children aged five to 17 limit their screen time – TV, computer use and electronic games – to no more than two hours a day,” Ms Clift said.
“Lower levels of screen time are associated with reduced health risks, and children should break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.
“We recommend at least an hour of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for children aged five to 17 every day.
“For additional health benefits, children can engage in several hours of physical activity every day.
“Parents can help their kids create healthy habits these school holidays that will lead to greater health and wellbeing in the short and long term.
“Spend time outdoors – running around and playing at the beach, swimming, hiking as a family or cracking out the cricket set for a bit of backyard fun.”
One in three children exceed recommended screen time for entertainment.
Sedentary behaviours, including too much screen time, are linked to an increased risk of overweight and obesity, and developing a range of chronic diseases, including some cancers.
“You could consider setting a ‘no screen time’ rule at dinner time or before school, or make bedrooms a TV and computer free zone,” Ms Clift said.
“Encourage kids to hop, skip, run and jump for stronger muscles and bones – climbing on monkey bars and games like hopscotch are great to build strength too.
“Small changes to screen time habits these school holidays can lead to healthier and happier lives!”
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via 13 11 20 or cancerqld.org.au.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Media and Spokesperson,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5372
Mobile: 0409 001 171