World Health Organization Recommendations for Children Under 5 for Physical Activity, Sleep, and Sedentary Behavior

Recommendations by WHO for your 1-year-old, 1-2-year-old and 3-4-year-old regarding screen time, sleep and exercise.

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WHO Recommendations for Screen Time Sleep Exercise
WHO Recommendations for Screen Time, Sleep and Exercise
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This information has been taken from the publication by the World Health Organization (WHO) and their study titled, “Guidelines on Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior and Sleep: For Children Under 5 Years of Age”. The study was published in 2019 by the World Health Organization.

From the publication:

“The overall goals of these guidelines are to provide recommendations on the amount of time in a 24-hour day that young children, under 5 years of age, should spend being physically active or sleeping for their health and wellbeing, and the maximum recommended time these children should spend on screen-based sedentary activities or time restrained.”

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The following table was extracted from the recommendations published by the WHO.

Age Physical Activity Sedentary Screen Time Good Quality Sleep
Less than 1 year > 30 minutes 0 minutes 14-17 hours for 0-3 month-olds and 12-16 hours for 4-11 month-olds
1-2 years of age >180 minutes 0 minutes for 1-year-old <60 minutes for 2-year-old 11-14 hours
3-4 years of age >180 minutes of which at least 60 is moderate to vigorous < 60 minutes 10-13 hours

Children Under 1-Year-Old

Physical Activity

The child under 1 year of age should “be physically active several times a day in a variety of ways, particularly through interactive floor-based play; more is better. For those not yet mobile, this includes at least 30 minutes in prone position (tummy time) spread throughout the day while awake.”

Sedentary Screen Time

The child under 1 year of age should “not be restrained for more than 1 hour at a time (e.g., prams/strollers, high chairs, or strapped on a caregiver’s back). Screen time is not recommended. When sedentary, engaging in reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged.”

Good Quality Sleep

The child under 1 year of age should “have 14–17h (0–3 months of age) or 12–16h (4–11 months of age) of good quality sleep, including naps.”

Children 1-2 Years-Old

Physical Activity

The child 1-2 years of age should “spend at least 180 minutes in a variety of types of physical activities at any intensity, including moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity, spread throughout the day; more is better.”

Sedentary Screen Time

The child 1-2 years of age should “not be restrained for more than 1 hour at a time (e.g., prams/ strollers, high chairs, or strapped on a caregiver’s back) or sit for extended periods of time. For 1-year-olds, sedentary screen time (such as watching TV or videos, playing computer games) is not recommended. For those aged 2 years, sedentary screen time should be no more than 1 hour; less is better. When sedentary, engaging in reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged.”

Good Quality Sleep

The child 1-2 years of age should “have 11–14h of good quality sleep, including naps, with regular sleep and wake-up times.”

Children 3-4 Years-Old

Physical Activity

The child 3-4 years of age should “spend at least 180 minutes in a variety of types of physical activities at any intensity, of which at least 60 minutes is moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity, spread throughout the day; more is better.”

Sedentary Screen Time

The child 3-4 years of age should “not be restrained for more than 1 hour at a time (e.g., prams/ strollers) or sit for extended periods of time. Sedentary screen time should be no more than 1 hour; less is better. When sedentary, engaging in reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged.”

Good Quality Sleep

The child 3-4 years of age should “have 10–13h of good quality sleep, which may include a nap, with regular sleep and wake-up times.”

This material is used under this license: (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/igo)

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