Department of Health & Human Services
Premiers Active April

Get outdoors and get active!

With so much entertainment available at our fingertips, screen-time is on the rise. People are glued to their phones and children aged as young as one know how to operate a tablet.

This means families are spending more time than ever before inside. Outdoor play is incredibly important for children’s health and wellbeing, as well as developing their functional movement and motor-skills. But it’s not just the children who benefit, the whole family can benefit in a number of ways.

Active April News YMCA PlayA little ray of sunshine

Vitamin D is crucial for helping children’s bones grow strong. In Autumn and Winter we need 20 minutes of sun exposure a day. Playing outside as a family or going on walks together is a great way to make sure your family is getting their daily dose of Vitamin D. If you are unsure about balancing Vitamin D intake with sun protection, download the SunSmart App and check the UV. Playing outdoors should be possible most days whether it’s Summer or Winter in Victoria.

Play is exercise

When families play together outside, whether it is kicking a ball, playing chase or on play equipment in parks, they’re being active. Children aged 0-5 should be doing three hours of play and activity spread evenly across their day, and 5-17 year olds should be getting an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day. But only one in five children in the older age group are meeting this recommendation.

With more than half of Australian adults getting insufficient amounts of exercise and nearly a quarter spending more than eight hours sitting down every day, it’s not just the kids that need to get moving. By playing together parents model healthy behaviours and as a result teach their kids to develop healthy habits themselves.

Outdoor play is fun and free

Unlike organised sport or clubs, playing outside is entirely free. Victoria is spoilt for choice when it comes to local parks and national parks. Our green spaces are one of the reasons Melbourne is so liveable. It doesn’t cost anything to explore the parklands, rivers and creeks together as a family. Playing outside gives you the chance to connect with nature and get to know the natural environments.

Active April News YMCA Play It’s something everyone can experience

Nobody should miss out on the joys of playing outside but until recently people with disabilities would often find natural environments difficult to access. This is changing! Through the use of Universal Design principles, YMCA Camp Manyung and Sport and Recreation Victoria have developed a new High Challenge Ropes Course. The course can be used by everybody and is also set up for wheelchair accessibility.

Don’t let anything hold you back, leave the phone in your handbag or pocket and get outside and play, the benefits are endless.

Last updated: March 6, 2017 at: 10:03 am

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