In Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, issued by the DHHS, experts say “any episode of moderate- or vigorous-intensity physical activity, however brief, counts toward the key guidelines for children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years. For preschool-aged children, activity of any intensity counts, including light intensity.”
As children grow into adolescents, they are able to play organized games and sports and can sustain longer periods of activity. But they still are usually active only intermittently, DHHS says.
The DHHS manual provides several examples of aerobic, muscle-, and bone-strengthening physical activities for children and adolescents. Some activities below, such as bicycling, can be moderate or vigorous intensity, depending upon level of effort.