What is physical activity?

The Stay Active program was developed to help your family be physically active – even during a pandemic. This week we will talk more on what physical activity is, what the national recommendations are, and how to track your child’s activity!

What exactly is ‘physical activity?’ Physical activity is any movement of the body that uses energy. Typically, when we talk about physical activity, we’re talking about movements that at least make singing hard to do, but not necessarily so hard that you can’t talk at all (although that level of intensity is sometimes needed). See below for examples of different activities and intensities. Intensity just means how hard the body is working to be active. Click here if you want to learn more about measuring your activity intensity.

How much physical activity do we need? Adults and children have different physical activity needs.

Children: The American Academic of Pediatrics recommends children try to be active for 60 minutes each day! These 60 minutes do not all need to be at the same time. You can break them up into 15-minute blocks.

Adults: The Department of Health and Human Services issues the Physical Activity

Guidelines for Americans which recommends that adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week. This is commonly broken down to encourage 30 minutes of activity 5 times a week.

Family Activity Corner 

We want to encourage you and your child to start thinking about what your current physical activity habits are and see if you meet the physical activity recommendations. Does your child play or practice sports throughout the week? Does your family go on walks together (walking the dog counts)? As a family, you can walk to a new place in your neighborhood that you have been wanting to explore, or you can walk to your favorite picnic spot and have a picnic! We have provided a worksheet you and your child can fill out over the next two weeks to see your physical activity habits.

Stay Active Activity Worksheet
Download PDF • 25KB

BONUS: Encourage your child to use their new Garmin to help track their activity! Try experimenting with the device! See what exercises give them the most steps.

Brain Breaks: Help your child practice getting up and moving by using the ideas below. These can be done together, or you can encourage your child to do them by themselves.

· Listen to a favorite song and go on a walk around the block for a break!

· Take a lap! Walk around the house and count the steps.

· Review and do the 5 “moves to know” from last week’s newsletter.

· Stand up and do 10 jumping jacks.

· Visit GoNoodle.com and select a dance video to have a quick dance party.

· Do an activity for 2-3 minutes and see how many steps it is! Compare the different activities and see which one gets the most steps.

COVID-19 Updates 

Visit the Stay Active Website for more information and resources

Contact us with any questions or concerns related to the Stay Active Program:



Welcome to the Stay Active Program! 

Thank you for participating in this program! Researchers at Children’s Mercy Hospital designed this program to encourage children and families to lead a physically active lifestyle during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The program promotes two types of activities:

In-school activities:

  • Throughout the school week, children will receive regular physical activity breaks. These breaks will last a few minutes and encourage children to get up and move through different types of activities while teaching about different aspects of physical activity. 

Out-of-school activities

  • Every other week families will receive a newsletter like this one that talks about topics related to physical activity and that matches the information of the in-school activities. At the bottom of each newsletter you will also find tips for keeping your family active (see ‘Family Activity Corner’ below), and updates related to COVID-19. 

  • You will receive weekly texts with updates on your child’s step goals and other helpful tips. 

  • Every other Friday you’ll receive a link to the latest Stay Active newsletter

  • Every Sunday you’ll receive a message to reflect on your child’s accomplishments the previous week

  • Every Monday you’ll receive a message reflecting on your child’s accomplishments since day 1 of the program

  • On Wednesdays, you’ll receive a notification if your child is having trouble reaching their step goals that week

  • Finally, we have a website that includes past newsletters and extra information and resources for your family. The website and the newsletters are to support you as you help your child be physically active during this stressful time. As you use both of these resources, be on the lookout for ways you and your child will need to work and learn together. You can access the website here: ciparesearchteam.org/stay-active-home

We are excited for this program and to support your family in leading a healthy lifestyle during this pandemic! 

Why be physically active?

Research shows that individuals (children & adults) who are physically active are generally healthier, sleep better, and have more energy throughout the day. Physical activity is especially important for children because it can help build strong bones and muscles and can improve their learning abilities. Learn more about physical activity guidelines for kids here.

Family Activity Corner 

In each newsletter we will have the ‘Family Activity Corner’ where we highlight different ways to be physically active and/or recommend how to incorporate the content from the newsletter into your physical activity habits! 

Brain Breaks: Are ideas to get your child moving throughout the day, here’s more information:

  • Check out the handout for some exercises your family can try out this week.

  • 5 Moves to Know: squats, lunges, push-ups, sit-ups, and planks (click on each activity or visit our website to see How-To videos!)

  • Stand up and stretch: have your child stand beside their chair, stretch their hands high for a few seconds, then lower them towards their feet to stretch low. Next, they can place their feet a little further than shoulder width apart and do the same thing with their hands, stretch them high and low for a few seconds each.

  • Have your child do these things every few hours to take care of their body and mind – you can do them too!

50 ways to get your kids moving!
Download • 604KB

COVID-19 Updates 

Visit the Stay Active Website for more information and resources.

Contact us with any questions or concerns related to the Stay Active Program: