New physical activity guidelines introduced in the UK

New physical activity guidelines were introduced in the UK in September 2019. They emphasise the importance of regular physical activity for people of all ages. Here is a summary of the guidelines relating to the physical activity levels suggested for Early Years health. You can download a copy of the full report here.

Infants (less than 1 year):

Infants should be physically active several times every day in a variety of ways, including interactive floor-based activity, e.g. crawling

For infants not yet mobile, this includes at least 30 minutes of tummy time spread throughout the day while awake (and other movements such as reaching and grasping, pushing and pulling themselves independently, or rolling over); more is better.

NB: Tummy time may be unfamiliar to babies at first, but can be increased gradually, starting from a minute or two at a time, as the baby becomes used to it. Babies should not sleep on their tummies.

Toddlers (1-2 years):

Toddlers should spend at least 180 minutes (3 hours) per day in a variety of physical activities at any intensity, including active and outdoor play, spread throughout the day; more is better.

Pre-schoolers (3-4 years):

Pre-schoolers should spend at least 180 minutes (3 hours) per day in a variety of physical activities spread throughout the day, including active and outdoor play. More is better; the 180 minutes should include at least 60 minutes of moderate-to- vigorous intensity physical activity.