Being active

ES-logo

How much physical activity should children and young people aged 5 to 18 do to keep healthy?

Children and young people need to do 2 types of physical activity each week:

  • aerobic exercise
  • exercises to strengthen their muscles and bones

Children and young people aged 5 to 18 should:

  • aim for an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity a day across the week
  • take part in a variety of types and intensities of physical activity across the week to develop movement skills, muscles and bones
  • reduce the time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity. Aim to spread activity throughout the day

Moderate intensity activities will raise your heart rate, and make you breathe faster and feel warmer.

One way to tell if you're working at a moderate intensity level is if you can still talk, but not sing.

Children and young people should do a range of different activities across the week.

Examples include:

  • walking to school or walking the dog
  • playground activities, including jumping, running and catching
  • physical education
  • sports, like football or tennis
  • swimming
  • skipping
  • dancing
  • skateboarding or rollerblading
  • cycling

Examples include:

  • gymnastics
  • football
  • jumping
  • martial arts
  • resistance exercises with exercise bands, weight machines or handheld weights
  • sit-ups, press-ups and other similar exercises

GOV.UK has infographics on physical activity for children and young people

NHS.UK attribution logo

School Health Service

Speak to the team for more information.

Need help now?
Text your school nurse on
07507 332473.

School Health virtual drop-in sessions

Tuesday and Thursday
10am to 3pm and 6 to 9pm

Need to speak to someone now? Text us on 07507 332473 for a chat.

Need an appointment? Visit our Attend Anywhere waiting room.

A virtual drop-in for young people aged 12-19 (secondary school or college age).

The virtual drop-in can help if you are worried or concerned about a health issue and need advice. This could be about healthy eating, sexual health, relationships, smoking, exams, drugs and alcohol, emotional health and wellbeing, body image, family issues, bullying or something else.

The drop-in is private and confidential.

Scroll to Top