Skip to main content

Physical Activity in Children, Part I

May 17, 2024

Kids need physical activity to grow up strong and healthy. Daily exercise can even help them feel better. Joining us is a physical therapist from United Hospital Center’s United Rehab to help answer your questions concerning physical activity for children.

I am Dr. Kristen Sepp, physical therapist at United Rehab, and I am here to discuss the importance of physical activity for children.

1). How much physical activity should a child get?

Kids and teens ages 6 to 17 need at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. Most of it can be moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Anything that gets their heart beating faster counts. At least three days a week, encourage your kids to step it up to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.

2). What is an easy way to tell whether your exercise is moderate or vigorous-intensity?

Use the “talk test” to find out. When you’re being active, try talking:

  • If you’re breathing hard, but can still have a conversation easily, it’s moderate-intensity activity.
  • If you can only say a few words before you must take a breath, it’s vigorous-intensity activity.

3). What are some areas of focus that children should include in their weekly activity?

Muscle-strengthening activity should be included three days a week as part of your child’s exercise regimen. This would include any activity that makes a child’s muscles work harder, such as climbing or swinging on monkey bars.

Also, bone-strengthening activity should be included three days a week. Bones need pressure to get stronger. Running, jumping, and other weight-bearing activities all count.

This content was originally posted on the WDTV News website here.

Please note, the information provided throughout this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and video, on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. If you are experiencing related symptoms, please visit your doctor or call 9-1-1 in an emergency.