Our campaign has been designed to help children grow and develop healthily with easy to do routines…

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Did you know that the current guidelines for daily physical activity for pre-school children is 180 minutes? That’s three hours a day. Most mums will say that it’s a challenge to get their toddler to sit still even for a minute, but it’s still hard to imagine a full 180 minutes of aerobic heart pumping activity in one day. However hard it might be to achieve, the principle behind this guidance is that toddlers should not experience too many prolonged periods of inactivity. Obesity and inactivity can have a significant effect on a child’s development. Even for the most active children, the current guidelines for daily physical activity are quite hard to achieve.

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Our campaign has been inspired by the recent reports on child health and obesity and our research (with specialist research agency Childwise) gaves children the chance to reply to the reports that one-in-five¹ is leaving primary school obese. The most compelling answers came from the 9-11 age range, which showed a marked increase in enjoyment of sport and exercise, with 69 per cent understanding its role in being healthy. A summary report on the survey results can be found HERE

Following these findings, here at Start-rite we challenged Biomechanics Coach and Chartered Physiotherapist Martin Haines and his team of experts (including Chris Sharman,  iKidz Director and Children’s Activity Consultant, Brytespark – pictured teaching children) to devise an alternative solution for children who want to be more active but struggle against all the other demands on their time and help more children grow and develop healthily.

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The 5-4-5 programme is a collection of fun High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) routines, which will get children of all ages fit and active, but won’t cost the earth or put a strain on their already busy lives. The collection was influenced by the growing appetite for high intensity workouts in gyms across the country alongside evidence that suggests that short bouts of high intensity exercises can have exactly the same outcomes as activities of lower intensity and longer duration. In a nutshell, we can reduce the largely negative impact of periods of inactivity with regular bouts of short bursts of activity.

We have reformatted the current adult HIIT structure into a workable solution for children and we’re calling it FIIT – Fun Interactive Interval Training. They are 5 minute routines with 5 intervals: a warm up, high activity, low activity, another high activity and a cool down. The routines have been designed for three age catagories – pre-school children aged 5 and under, primary school children aged 5-to-9 and older children aged 10 plus. The intervals are fun and memorable to get their hearts pumping and something you can do with them anytime, anywhere. We’ve also put together a short Stroller Stretches film for toddlers following reports that small children should spend no longer than one hour in a stroller before undertaking five minutes of active stretches.

‘The 5-4-5 programme is a collection of fun interactive interval training routines, which will get children of all ages fit and active, but won’t cost the earth or put a strain on their already busy lives.’

Each routine will deliver many of the benefits of 23 minutes of aerobic activity, so we recommend doing them a few times a day, and very soon your child will be completing their guideline 60 minutes, without even noticing that they are fitting it into their busy lives.

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Don’t forget, the ease at which children can complete the full routine will depend upon their current fitness level. If your child wants to give these routines a go but is not used to aerobic activity, we recommend that you take this slow and build up to completing the full five minutes.

You can watch all our Fun Interactive Interval Training (FIIT) videos on our YouTube channel HERE

Look out for our campaign hashtag #Letsdomore on social media where parents and children can get involved and join in.


  1. Public Health England