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Aussie kids second last on scorecard for physical activity

National Walk Safely to School Day on Friday 19 May is an opportunity for families to create new healthy and active routines for children and even set a lifelong habit change.

Now in its 18th year, this initiative aims to encourage children to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle by simply including a walk at the beginning, at lunch time and at end of each day. The event also promotes reduced car-dependency, greater use of public transport, cleaner air, improved diets and road safety to all primary school children.

Active Healthy Kids Australia
’s latest 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Young People grades overall physical activity levels. It placed Australian kids equal second-last of 38 countries, beaten by Mozambique, Mexico, Ghana, Columbia, England and New Zealand. Only Scotland performed worse with a “fail” grade.

Only 19 per cent of Australian 5-17 year olds were found to meet the national physical activity guidelines, which call for 60 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity per day. In Slovenia, which topped the rankings, 86 per cent of children met the same benchmark.

“Finding ways of making physical activity a part of children’s regular routines is the easiest way of systemically tackling the problem,” Active Healthy Kids Australia spokeswoman Dr Natasha Schranz said.

“The comparisons show that kids move the most in countries where being active is a priority or is an integral part of their everyday lifestyle.

“In Zimbabwe, which received an A- in Active Transportation, more than 80 per cent of children use active rather than motorised transport to get to and from school. And the Netherlands, which led the table on this measure, of course has a deeply ingrained cycling culture.”


28 May 2017 | Melbourne
Parents should be children's first maths teachers News Image

Parents and caregivers need to stop worrying about their maths skills and help young children with maths, just as they do with reading and spelling. Read More

27 May 2017 | Australia
Independents' 2017 Snapshot backs measured approach to funding fight News Image

While the manoeuvring continues to swirl around the Birmingham school funding reform plan and Labor state governments, the Opposition, Catholic Education and others are engaged in intense lobbying of the Senate crossbenchers. Read More

27 May 2017 | ACT
Maths Day is fun day News Image

Maths Day 2017 attracted 190 Year 11 and 12 students from New South Wales and the ACT to ANU to take part in maths challenges designed to build teamwork skills and promote a love of maths. Read More

26 May 2017 | Australia
New online resources for Indigenous stories News Image

Reading Australia and WA Indigenous Publisher Magabala Books have released new resources to bring the work of Indigenous authors and illustrators to Australian primary schools. Read More

25 May 2017 | Australia
More dollars promised for Indigenous education in referendum package News Image

In his address to Parliament on constitutional recognition for Aboriginal people, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that there will be an investment of $138 million for the education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Read More