Children and Adolescent need vigorous exercise at least 1 hour per day. Vigorous exercise includes running, jumping, swimming, and walking briskly. This is typical not a problem for children under 6 year; however, as kids get older there are more demands on their time including school, jobs etc. that may inhibit this exercise. The recommended 1 hour can be broken up over the day and includes recess, gym, walking to school, after school sports. Also limiting screen time helps.
Screen Time includes any device that has a screen including TV, video games, computers, Ipad, cell phone etc. The Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children less than 2 years, because this can cause a decrease the child’s expressive language or vocabulary. Over 2 years, the recommendation is no more than 2 hours of screen time a day. The reality of life is that parents often watch television or there are other children older than 2 in the house that watch television. I suggest a practical guide is no specific screen time for the children under 2 years (ex Sesame Street, Cartoons) but they can be in the room when the TV is on. Then the following guide for older children…
2-4 years 30 minutes/day of screen time
5-7 years 60 minutes/day of screen time
>7 years Maximum of 2 hours/day of screen time*
*Schoolwork on the computer is not counted in these 2 hours