Updated physical guidelines for children and young people

Knowing how much sleep your child should have and how much exercise they should be doing can be difficult but updated Government guidelines may be able to help.

The Sit Less, Move More, Sleep Well – Physical Activity Guidelines for Children and Young People say that children require different amounts of sleep at different ages.

Children aged 5–13 years for example, need 9 to 11 hours of uninterrupted good quality sleep every night. Those aged between 14 and 17 years need 8 to 10 hours sleep. And it’s recommended that all children should go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

Swapping the couch for the outdoors is also good for children. The exercise they get every day, whether its playing outside with the friends or something more physical, like school sport, should amount to at least one hour a day. Vigorous exercise, which will make their muscles and bones stronger, should be done at least 3 times a week.

Recreational screentime, playing games on computers for example, should be limited to no more than 2 hours a day.

The guidelines are available on the Ministry of Health website

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