Keeping active as a family

Did you know?

  • More than 80% of children around the world are not physically active enough.1,2
  • Each year, around five million deaths could be prevented if the global population were more active.1
  • It’s predicted that by 2030 around one billion people globally will be living with obesity.3

Childhood and adult obesity

Children are considered obese when their weight is well above the normal or healthy weight for their age and height. This can be a result of a lack of physical activity, certain behaviors, or even genetics.2 Overweight children are more at risk of severe illnesses in adulthood, which makes it especially important for parents to take control of their health and wellness from a young age.

Adult obesity is one of the leading causes of death globally.4 And like childhood obesity, a lack of physical activity or inactivity, diet, and the use of certain medications contribute to adult obesity.

Ways to get active as a family

Physical activity ensures healthy growth and development and improves overall wellbeing.

  1. A walk in the park – If you’re able to, why not take the family out for a picnic and a walk out in nature? And while you’re at it, perhaps take along some bats and balls so that the family can join in some fun and games.
  2. Build an obstacle course – There’s no need to leave the house to keep active. Not only is building an obstacle course a good way to keep active, it can also be a fun activity that everyone can participate in.
  3. Group sports – Football, volleyball, and tennis are some examples of sports that you can play as a family.
  4. Ride a bike – Perhaps your family prefers taking a bike ride? Try to find a route that has some nice scenery along the way and with some up-hills and down-hills for added activity.

Minimum exercise guidelines for children and adults:5,6

It’s recommended that children get: It’s recommended that adults get:
  • 1 hour of moderate-intensity (including muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening exercise) activity per day.
  • Vigorous-intensity activity three times per week.
  • 1.5 hours of moderate-intensity activity per week.
  • Muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening exercise twice a week.
Making exercise part of your lifestyle

Adding some of these simple changes to your and your family’s weekly routine can make a huge difference to your overall activity levels. If you have any concerns about doing more exercise or have a medical history, discuss exercising changes with your family health care practitioner.

If you are lacking the motivation you need to keep active, our Make One Small Change: Movement program can help. It is designed to offer you personalized support and guidance, helping you to adopt new lifestyle changes, one week at a time.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your
HR department. Alternatively, visit

This article was reviewed by Dr Sissel Lia Johansen, Medical Advisor at Cigna.

  1. World Health Organization. Physical Activity. Updated 26 November 2020. Accessed 26 April 2021.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Childhood Obesity Causes & Consequences. Accessed 17 May 2021.
  3. Estimated to be Living with Obesity by 2030. World obesity. Accessed July 14, 2022.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adult Obesity Causes & Consequences. Accessed 17 May 2021.
  5. How much physical activity do children need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed July 14, 2022.
  6. How much physical activity do adults need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed July 14, 2022.