Friday , April 16 2021

Sitting less, playing more; WHO issues guidelines for children under five years of age



To grow up healthy, to World Health Organization (WHO) says children need to sit less and play more. On WHO guidelines cover physical activity, sedentary sleep and sleep for children from birth to the age of five, and were released earlier this week.

The WHO says children under five "must spend less time watching screens, or getting upset in wheelchairs and seats, having better sleep quality and having more time for active play if they want to grow"

The findings will be of interest to the Australian Early Childhood Education and Career Sector (ECEC) because they want to provide guidance for families and also provide quality education programs for children in their care.

The WHO Director-General, Dr. Teddos Adhanome Gebriyes, described the importance of early childhood in establishing the basis of health and wellbeing for children, saying that this time period is one of the rapid development and "a time when models of the family lifestyle can be adapted to increase health benefits. "

The guidelines were developed by a panel of experts selected by the WHO, who evaluated the effects of inadequate sleep and time spent in seats and chairs while watching screens. The panel also reviewed the evidence of the benefits of increased levels of activity.


Dr. Fiona Will, a member of the panel and program manager for the prevention and prevention of non-communicable diseases in the WHO, which is based on the population, said that improving physical activity, reducing sedentary times and providing quality sleep in young children will also improve their physical and mental health and well-being and help prevent childhood obesity and related disorders later in life.

Five million deaths in all age groups globally are attributed to the failure to meet current recommendations for physical activity – a figure that the WHO believes can be reduced by establishing good practices early in life.

Dr. Juan Violensen, the focal point of the WHO for Obesity and Physical Activity in Childhood, said the guidelines are to change the time from the sedentary period to play time and protect sleep, adding "what we really need to do is restore game for children "

The WHO said that the key is to look at an activity model over a 24-hour period and look for ways to replace a prolonged rest or sedentary time, in particular involving screens, with a more active play and ensuring that young children they will get a good-quality sleep.

The organization talked about making a sedentary time – a time when children sit and rest – a quality sedentary time, spent in interactive activities based on non-caring care, such as reading, storytelling, singing and puzzles, adding that these activities are very important for child development .

On Recommendations of the WHO highlighting the important interactions between physical activity, sedentary relationships and adequate sleep time, as well as their impact on physical and mental health and well-being, were recognized by Commission for ending obesity in children, which previously called for clear directions for physical activity, sedentary relationship and sleep in small children.

Recommendations at a glance:

Infants (less than one year) should:

  • Be physically active several times a day in different ways, especially through an interactive game based on the floor; it's better. For those who are not yet mobile, this involves at least 30 minutes in the slope of the position (stomach time) that spreads during the day while awakening.
  • Do not be detained for more than an hour at the same time (for example, strollers / trolleys, tall chairs or tied to the back of caregivers). Screen time is not recommended. When sedentary, he is encouraged to deal with reading and telling stories with a guardian.
  • They have 14-17 hours (0-3 months) or 12-16h (4-11 months) with good sleep quality, including nappies.

Children 1-2 years old should:

  • They spend at least 180 minutes (three hours) in various types of physical activity of any intensity, including physical activity of moderate intensity, which is spread all day; it's better.
  • Do not limit yourself to more than one hour at the same time (for example, wheelchairs / trolleys, tall stools or tied to the back of caregivers) or sit for a long time. For one-year-olds, sit-in screen times (such as watching TV or videos, playing computer games) are not recommended. For those at the age of two years, the sitting screen time should be no more than an hour; less is better. When sedentary, he is encouraged to deal with reading and telling stories with a guardian.
  • You have 11-14 hours of good quality sleep, including nappies, with regular times of sleep and waking.

Children 3-4 years old should:

  • They spend at least 180 minutes (three hours) in various types of physical activity of any intensity, of which at least 60 minutes are moderate to intense physical activity, spread all day; it's better.
  • Do not be held for more than an hour at the same time (for example, prams / trolleys) or sit for a long time. The screening time of the screen should not be longer than one hour; less is better. When sedentary, he is encouraged to deal with reading and telling stories with a guardian.
  • They have 10-13 hours of good sleep quality, which may include sleeping, with regular sleeping and waking times.

Complete directions can be accessed here.


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