Tiny trainers enlisted to get adults moving
Almost two thirds of Australian adults are insufficiently active, and with research showing that parents heavily influence the physical activity of their children, Sport Australia has enlisted a band of ‘Tiny Trainers’ to help get Australian adults and children moving more often.
Sport Australia has launched the second phase of its behaviour change campaign, ‘Move It AUS’, which encourages Australian adults to ‘Find Your 30’ minutes of heart rate-raising activity every day and children to find 60 minutes a day.
Sport Australia General Manager of Marketing Customer Insights and Analytics Louise Eyres says the Tiny Trainers campaign flips the script and sees children encouraging adults to get moving.
“Our AusPlay research shows children with at least one inactive parent are 68 per cent more likely to be inactive themselves,” Ms Eyres said. “So if parents and adults get active, then children are more likely to follow and be active themselves.
“The biggest barrier cited by adults when it comes to participating in sport and physical activity is not enough time or too many commitments, yet we know screen time is taking up more and more hours of our day. So Sport Australia’s Tiny Trainers are about to step into your digital world with fun and cheeky reminders to ‘Move It AUS’ and ‘Find Your 30’.”
What can early childhood services do to encourage families to be active at home?
There are a range of programs, resources, and opportunities designed to support families and children to be active beyond their early childhood service.
The Sector contributor and fouder of GrowFit, Mike Searson, spoke about creating opportunities to “get sports back into home life” through the GrowFit offering “Da Fit Club” which sends sports equipment and games to the family each month, designed to improve gross and fine motor skills, and to increase the relationship with children in the process.
General advice to provide the families in your care includes:
- Consulting with a medical practitioner about what type, and amount, of exercise is right for your child and family;
- Find a fun activity that all the family enjoys;
- Make sure the activity is developmentally appropriate – for example, complicated sports with lots of rules are less likely to be enjoyed by younger children;
- Make time in the schedule to be active, and ensure the environment is safe;
- Wear appropriate and comfortable clothing;
- Provide open-ended toys which allow for a range of movement opportunities – such as balls, skipping ropes, and other active toys;
- Be involved – children who see their parents being active and enjoying movement are more likely to do so themselves;
- Limit exposure to screens; and,
- Teach children and adults to listen to their body, and to stop the activity if there is pain.
For more information on the Move It AUS campaign, visit the Sport Australia website.