Be Active 2012

be active 2012 is a conference being held between October 31 and November 3 in Sydney. The conference will incorporate the 4th International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health, the Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport, the Australian Physical Activity Conference and the Australian Sports Injury Prevention Conference.

1200 people will attend the conference where over 1000 research papers will be presented and many of the sessions will focus on different aspects and consequences of the activity levels of young people.

Research has found that the sedentary time of children is on the increase. Sedentary time for children ages 3-6 is 4.5 hrs and by the age of 17-18 it has reached almost 8 hours, from the ages of 11 to 13 this increase is the steepest.

Overcoming these sedentary levels will be a major focus with numerous presentations looking at ways to reduce sitting and inactivity both at home and in a school setting.

be active 2012

Inactivity at home is influenced by many things and a couple of major ones are the sedentary habits of parents and their rules, because we all know that children learn a great deal by example. A great method of increasing activity levels in young people is for parents to reduce their own weekend screen-time and actively encourage their children to take part in sports and play outside.

Adam Lloyd from the University of Newcastle will be presenting the Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids project at the be active 2012 conference and he says their findings show that a good strategy to improve children’s physical activity levels is to improve the physical activity levels of their father and encourage physical activities for dad to participate in with the children.

Other papers will address findings on the sedentary levels of  children while at school and ways that schools can adapt to lower the sedentary levels of students.

Better health for our children is achievable and reducing sedentary levels is a large part of that. be active 2012 will bring together lots of current research in the area.

Some quick points to note for increasing activity levels:

  • Encourage outdoor play
  • Engage in physical activities with your children
  • Limit screen time
  • Lead by example
  • Offer active video games rather than sedentary ones

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