The World Health Organization has released new guidelines on physical activity for children under 5 years of age, and apparently, kids need to cut way down on their screen time.
The WHO is recommending no sedentary screen time for all children 1 year old or younger, and only up to one hour a day of such time for those aged 2 to 4 (with less being better). Instead, reading and storytelling during sedentary periods is encouraged.
Children between the ages of 1 and 4 are also asked to get at least three hours of physical activity a day, with kids 3-4 recommended to engage in an hour of "moderate-to-vigorous intensity" activity. According to the organization, 80% of adolescents worldwide are currently not physically active enough, along with 23% of adults.
“Improving physical activity, reducing sedentary time and ensuring quality sleep in young children will improve their physical, mental health and wellbeing, and help prevent childhood obesity and associated diseases later in life,” Dr. Fiona Bull, programme manager for surveillance and population-based prevention of noncommunicable diseases at WHO, said in a statement.
The WHO says the new guidelines will help improve motor and cognitive skills in children during crucial stages of development. The organization adds more than five million people a year across all age groups die due to failure to meet current health recommendations.
Updated sleep guidelines were given as well:
- 0-3 months: 14-17 hours a day (including naps)
- 4-11 months: 12-16 hours
- 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
- 3-4 years: 10-13 hours