Physical Activity and Young People - What's Important to Know

Physical Activity and Young People - What's Important to Know

Why is being active important for young people?

Getting enough physical activity plays a vital role in maintaining young people’s health and wellbeing. Regular activity can also help young people thrive and achieve their goals.

Some of the benefits of regular physical activity include:

  • Feeling more energetic
  • Deeper sleep
  • Improved heart health
  • Strengthened muscles and bones
  • A reduced risk of developing chronic diseases and
  • Improved attention span

How being active can help your teenager’s mental health

Regular physical activity can have a positive impact on young people’s mental health.

Physical activity releases feel-good chemicals in the brain. These reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help to improve a young person’s sense of control, their coping ability and self-esteem.

Research has shown that people who are physically active regularly tend to experience lower rates of mental illness and a great sense of wellbeing.

How can you help your child to be physically active?

Here are some tips to help your young person to be active:

  • Help your teen find something that they enjoy doing. This maybe a structured sport but may also be a dance class, yoga, bushwalk or running group with no formal competition. Remembering the social aspect is also important.
  • Find ways to help them keep up their involvement in a current activity. For example, this may be helping out with coaching or umpiring a sport.
  • It’s important not to talk about physical activity in a negative way, as a punishment or in relation to body shape.  All bodies are different and change as we grow and age.
  • A great way to help your young person to be active is through leading by example. Showing them how physical activity can be fun and doesn’t have to be competitive. By participating in activities yourself you are role modelling this. Your child may want to join you.
  • Show them how to be active in lot’s of ways in the day like walking to work and school, taking the stairs and setting aside time each day for physical activity.

Seek the help you need

To find out more visit Youth Network of Tasmania for a list of local services and online support.

For more information on Australia's Physical Activity Guidelines