One in three Irish families never do healthy activities together

Four in five children don’t get recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day

Half of Irish families spend more time in front of a screen than they do pursuing healthy activities, according to new research.

Almost one third of families never take part in any physical activity together, while four out of five children are not meeting the daily recommended guideline of 60 minutes exercise per day.

According to the research by Aviva Health, a fifth of families spend between four and 10 hours in front of a screen on weekdays, rising to half of all families on weekends.

The survey of family activities was undertaken to mark the launch of season two of Ireland's Fittest Family, which is sponsored by Aviva Health and starts on Sunday on RTÉ One.


The survey asked families to estimate the amount of time they spend as a family engaged in physical activities, and the amount of hours per day spent as a family in front of screens such as iPads, iPhones, laptops and the television.

Only six per cent of families reported spending less than one hour per day in front of a screen during the week.

Medical director of Aviva Health Dr Ian Callanan said: "This research shows that far more family time is now being spent in front of a screen to the detriment of more healthy pursuits. We hope that families are inspired by the research findings and by the families on Ireland's Fittest Family to become more active together."

According to National Guidelines on Physical Activity for Ireland, adults between the ages of 18 and 64 need at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity.

Children and young people between the ages of two and 18 should be active at a moderate to vigorous level for at least 60 minutes every day.