06 June 2016

Exploring... The importance of physical activity in the early years

importance_pa_early_years.jpg

The first five years of life are fundamental to children’s growth and development. A number of physical and psychological developments occur in young children, which lay the foundation for future health and wellbeing. During the early years, physical activity impacts on children’s health and plays a key role in their development.

This one-page fact sheet highlights the key areas of a young child's development that the evidence shows physical activity can support. These include:

  • building strong muscles and bones - active children have the opportunity to enhance bone health and muscular development
  • developing motor skills - being active helps young children’s balance, co-ordination and mobility
  • learning personal, social and emotional skills - physical activity can help children develop the skills that help them solve problems, develop resilience, be confident, co-operate and interact with other children, eg, take turns while playing or caring about others.

Download: Exploring... The importance of physical activity in the early years