Australian Children Among Least Active
Australian children are ranked as some of the least active in the world when it comes to physical exertion, according to a new report.
The inaugural Active Healthy Kids Australia Report Card, compiled by researchers from Australian universities and endorsed by The Heart Foundation, found 80 per cent of children between the ages of five and 17 were not getting daily exercise.
Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. It gives your heart, blood vessels and lungs a good workout, is also fun, cheap and good for the environment, and is an excellent way to incorporate the recommended weekly exercise into your schedule.
The health benefits of regular cycling include:
- Increased cardiovascular fitness.
- Increased muscle strength and flexibility.
- Improved joint mobility.
- Decreased stress levels.
- Improved posture and coordination.
- Strengthened bones.
- Decreased body fat levels.
- Prevention or management of disease.
- Reduced anxiety and depression.
Riding to school or the shops is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. An active commute to school has also been found to increase children's attention span and learning capacity within the classroom.
"Both children/young people and parents should incorporate active transport into their everyday routines. Other than school journeys, replacing short car trips to a range of destinations (e.g. local parks, local shops, friend’s house) with walking or cycling is feasible (e.g. 1 kilometre is about 15 minutes of walking) and will have a range of benefits both to the child and the environment. " Active Healthy Kids Australia Report.
An estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day – for transport, recreation and sport. Why not join the trend?
Bicycle Tasmania works with councils all across the State to lobby for improved active transport access in and around schools. Why not contact your local council and let them know what they could do help support your family to make active movements.