For children, moving is natural and supports growth and development. Too much sitting and a lack of exercise weaken the well-being of children and young people in many ways.

The society and parents should create environments that support the activity and learning of children and young people. Children and young people should be introduced to an active way of living, which will continue throughout their lives. Parents can encourage their children to play and spend time outdoors, walk and cycle their way to school and hobbies, take breaks from sitting in front of a screen and to be active at least one hour a day. Children’s instructors in early childhood education and care centre  and teachers at school should offer children physical activities and physically active environments and remove unnecessary limitations to exercise.

Recommendations for parents
How can you create environments that enable varied play and other physical activity for your children, both at home and outdoors? What would your children personally want and like to do? Since people tend to be naturally more active outdoors, it is a good idea to encourage children to play and exercise outdoors in all seasons.

Remove any unnecessary rules and restrictions that prevent children from freely engaging in physical activity.

Take a look at the interior design of your home and your children’s rooms to consider whether it motivates them to change posture and be physically active.
Children enjoy doing things together. They learn about a physically active lifestyle from their parents and immediate circle of friends and relatives. When you are active in your everyday life, you will implicitly set an example for your own children and those in your immediate circle.

Recommendations for early childhood education and care
It is advisable to pay attention to the amount of children’s sedentary time and opportunities for physical activity as part of early childhood education and care. Would it be possible to remove unnecessary rules that restrict physical activity? For early childhood education and care, would it be possible to develop new, more active ways of learning, moving from one place to another or waiting for one’s turn?
Would it be possible to develop the indoor and outdoor areas of daycare centres and other such settings so as to better promote free physical activity? The environment can encourage and teach various ways to play, act and work.

Read more: Reduce sedentary time – Get healthier!

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