In a new campaign against obesity, the British government issued guidelines suggesting that children under 5 years (including those not yet walking) should exercise every day.
In its first guidelines for children so young, the Department of Health said that children under age 5 who can walk should be physically active for at least three hours a day.
The three hours of activity should be distributed throughout the day. Authorities said it is likely that the infant daily dose of exercise is fulfilled simply through the game, but could also cover activities such as walking to school.
For infants who do not walk yet, the government said parents should encourage physical activity from birth, such as putting infants to play on the back of their parents or swims with them.
The government said it must consider the individual physical and mental capabilities of children in the interpretation of the councils.
“It is vital that parents introduce children to fun hobbies and exercise to help prevent children from becoming obese, which in turn may become obese adults at risk of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer,” said in a statement Maura Gillespie, head of policy and advocacy of the British Heart Foundation.
Almost a quarter of British adults are obese and experts estimate that by 2050 90% of adults will be overweight.
According to a health survey 2008, he resorted to devices for measuring the amount of exercise that people actually practiced, authorities found that only 5% of the British met the minimum level of physical activity recommended by government : about 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week, including some every day.
For children between 5 and 18 years, Britain recommends at least one hour of daily exercise, which should include vigorous activities to strengthen muscles and bones.
In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that children and adolescents have about an hour or more of physical activity each day.
According to the Institute of Medicine (Institute of Medicine, an independent organization in Washington DC), children must be at least 15 minutes of exercise every hour you spend in the nursery.