Could you be the one?

What is foster care? Foster care, also referred to as out-of-home care, is when care is provided for children or young people at times when their own parents or families cannot do so. The main aim of foster care is to provide a safe, stable and secure home environment for these children when they need it. (more…)

Who am I? Why am I here?

Why children should be taught philosophy (beyond better test scores) In a recent TED talk titled No Philosophy, No Humanity, author Roger Sutcliffe asked the audience whether a flagpole was a place. Around half the audience said yes, the other said no. He went on to describe the response a nine-year-old gave him to that question: to me a flagpole is not a place, but to an ant it is. This creative perspective shows what children can do when given space to perform philosophical thinking. (more…)

One-third of all preschool centres could be without a trained teacher in four years, if we do nothing

One-third of all preschools may lack a qualified teacher in the next four years if nothing changes, my new modelling shows. Currently, half of all early childhood teachers have a bachelor degree, with a further one-third still working towards one. With many expected to drop out, my modelling shows a significant shortfall by 2023. What are the numbers? To lift children’s outcomes, early learning needs to be high quality, which includes being delivered by trained staff. This is why a focus on supporting the workforce to grow is so important. The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business predicts Australia will need around 49,000 preschool teachers by 2023. That means we’ll need an extra 29,000 from where we’re at now (some of the current workforce is expected to drop off). We are a long way from meeting the shortfall given the current shortage of teachers and low numbers of teachers in training. Across Australia, around 4,000 students are enrolled in early childhood education teaching degrees per year. Assuming the pass rate for these teachers is around the average of 56% (as for other teaching students), this would mean around 11,200 additional teachers would be available by 2023. That would leave a shortfall of 17,800. Read more: Report finds every $1 Australia spends on preschool will return $2, but this won’t just magically happen It’s worth noting many of these degrees are for teaching from birth to eight years of age, or birth to 12 years of age, so not all graduates would seek to work in an early childhood setting. If more teachers choose school teaching with its higher wages and better conditions, the shortage will be far worse. If we assume there is one qualified teacher per preschool service, this means by 2023 at least one-third of all services could be without the trained teacher they need. We’re not meeting the goal This is a far cry from the 2009 agreement made by all Australian governments to provide four-year-olds with access to preschool delivered by a trained teacher from 2013. Many children are starting school behind their peers. Charlein Gracia/Unsplash Early childhood teachers perform a variety of roles including planning and delivering learning programs and providing support for diploma and certificate-qualified educators, who make up the bulk of the early childhood workforce. One outcome of the 2009 agreement was: All children have access to affordable, quality early childhood education in the year before formal schooling. And one of the performance indicators was: The number of teachers delivering preschool programs who are four-year university trained and early childhood qualified. In 2012, governments put transitional provisions in place. This was to give early childhood providers time to meet workforce provisions in hard-to-staff locations. These provisions permitted educators working towards qualifications to be counted as teachers in remote and very remote areas. They also allowed services in these areas to remotely access teachers to meet their ratios. The provisions were due to expire after five years, but were extended until 2020 given little attention was paid to workforce development for rural and remote services. The Education Council, the meeting of all state and territory and Commonwealth education ministers, met recently to discuss early childhood. Instead of deciding a workforce strategy to ensure these extensions end, they agreed another extension until 2021 in most states except Victoria, and until 2023 for Western Australia and the Northern Territory. What is the potential impact on children? Trained teachers and educators in early childhood make a difference to children’s academic outcomes in school. One study showed students who attended preschool led by a diploma or degree-qualified teacher were ahead the equivalent of 15 to 20 weeks of schooling at Year 3, based on their NAPLAN results. Many children – more than one in four from remote areas, compared to one in five from major cities – are starting school behind their peers. In very remote areas, nearly half of children start behind. Read more: Preschool benefits all children, but not all children get it. Here’s what the government can do about that In addition to children living away from city centres, children from low socio-economic areas are most likely to be affected. They are already less likely to attend the highest-quality centres and more likely to start school behind their more advantaged peers. A decade after all four-year-olds received their right to preschool, a shortage of trained teachers could mean one in three children miss out and start school further behind their peers as a result. What could we do differently? Governments have a few choices to make. One choice is to accept the transitional provisions are actually an ongoing reality for many services and many children will miss out on trained teachers and fall further behind. A better option would be to take workforce planning seriously and commit to investing in making sure every child has access to a trained teacher and a chance to succeed. This would require efforts on a number of fronts. Attrition is a major issue in the early childhood education and care sector. Trained staff average just 7.4 years of experience and around 20% of the workforce intend to leave the profession within 12 months. A key focus needs to be on keeping the current workforce. A raft of research has confirmed the major issues that need to be addressed to achieve this, including pay and conditions, professional status, and career and professional development. A secondary focus needs to be on attracting, up-skilling and retaining new entrants to the profession. This includes examining what supports would be needed to up-skill educators to diploma and degree level. Some of this work is happening in individual jurisdictions. For example, scholarships are available in Victoria to support the roll-out of three-year-old preschool. A national workforce strategy is needed to build a workforce to ensure that all children, no matter where they live, are able to benefit from quality early learning. This article was originally published in The Conversation. Read the original article. Authors: Megan O’Connell , Honorary Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne ]]>

Here’s what teachers look for when kids start school

Many parents believe teaching their child to read is the best way to get them ready to start school, but teachers often disagree. Teachers generally consider it more important for children to know how to regulate their emotions, be confident in their abilities and be curious learners. Parents and teachers in my study In a recent study, I wanted to find what parent beliefs and behaviours were most effective in helping children succeed at school. I collected data from 120 parents on what they believed was their role in supporting their child’s learning, as well how often they did certain things to prepare their child to succeed at school. These were often regular activities parents did that would help prepare their child for school but weren’t necessarily done with that goal. My study also included 52 teacher and parent pairs in schools around South Australia and the Northern Territory. I married up what parents reported they did with their child before starting school with how these children fared at school across a range of developmental areas. I also conducted follow-up interviews with 16 parents. Some were employed while others were stay-at-home parents. I interviewed fathers and mothers, as well as parents from different cultural and economic positions. Nearly every parent read to their child. Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash Reading most important to parents Literacy was what mostly came to mind when parents discussed how they prepared their child for school, usually in informal and incidental ways, such as shared reading. Around 94% of parents did literacy activities three or more times a week. One father told me: We’ve read to them since the day they got out of hospital basically […] so they have both had wide exposure to reading and books. Both the kids have got upwards of 200 to 300 books in their room. Literacy development is important in the early years and offers a host of benefits to children. A recent study found parents who read one book a day with their child are giving their child a 1.4 million-word advantage over their peers who have never been read to. Read more: Five tips to help you make the most of reading to your children Playing with children I asked parents to indicate how many toys and learning materials their child had at home, from a checklist of 29 widely accessible items. These included balls, colouring books and building blocks. My later analysis showed the more play-based resources a child had at home, the more prepared they were for the academic demands of school. The more items children have to engage with at home, the better prepared they are for school. Image from shutterstock.com This doesn’t mean parents must spend more to ensure their child’s success. Paediatricians recommend simple toys, rather than electronic or expensive ones, as best for supporting child development. Parents preferred playing and other informal activities over formal learning, the interviews showed. Around 64% of parents said they engaged in cognitively stimulating activities three or more times a week. Most parents said they engaged in unstructured play with their child, which often led to conversations and incidental learning. Parents spoke of using their child’s play time as opportunities to engage with their child’s interests and design activities around them with the goal of learning. Read more: Let them play! Kids need freedom from play restrictions to develop Gaps between teachers and parents But there was some disparity between what parents most valued in preparing the child for school (literacy) and what teachers found most important for school-readiness. Around 62% of teachers in my study were concerned about at least one aspect of children’s development. More than 45% of these related to the child’s emotional readiness – in particular, a child’s confidence in their ability and self-regulation skills. These concerns aren’t surprising. Research from the UK also showed teachers felt academic skills weren’t as important as children being confident, independent and curious learners. In other research, one teacher said: We can teach them to write their name, but it’s more important to have kids who can function in the classroom. This doesn’t mean parents are failing their children; it reflects the difficulty parents face in teaching social and emotional skills. Read more: Is my child being too clingy and how can I help? It’s a shared responsibility More than 90% of parents in my study saw the role of teaching children emotional regulation as a shared responsibility between them and teachers. Research has long recognised education as a collaborative task, with both parent and teacher knowledge being important. In the landmark UK EPPE study, children experienced greater cognitive gains in preschool centres that had high levels of parental engagement. The most effective settings shared information relevant to the children with staff and parents, and parents had a greater say in decision-making about their child’s learning. Read more: Preschool benefits all children, but not all children get it. Here’s what the government can do about that Parents need more help A child who spends their preschool years in a play-based, nurturing and responsive environment, with a range of conversations, experiences, peers and resources, will likely adjust well to the demands of school. But how can parents teach their child emotional regulation and the adjustment skills they need to function in the classroom? Research shows that parents should look for teachable moments, harnessing children’s interests to incorporate learning into daily life. They can use these opportunities as a vehicle to hold positive conversations and boost a child’s confidence. Social connections are also important. Children should have plenty of opportunities to play with their friends. Being a role model is especially important. Parents should model self-regulation, keeping calm when dealing with mistakes and scaffolding their children to develop these tricky skills. They could be positive about school and how much fun their child will have when they go. It’s important to find times to talk with your child about their feelings so they learn to be aware of their own emotions. Some research has also found mindfulness for kids can help them learn greater self-control. This article was originally published in The Conversation. Read the original article. Authors: Amy Graham , PhD Candidate, Charles Darwin University ]]>

Eat Speak Learn Group Programs

Do you think your child would benefit from therapy in a group setting? At Eat Speak Learn Speech Pathology Services new group programs will be commencing in Term 3, 2019. The group programs are: Social skillsThe Social Skills group is based on the Talkabout programme which was first developed in the 1990s. It is an approach that measures, assesses and teaches social skills. It follows a hierarchy for teaching social skills where self esteem and self-awareness are the underpinning skills for good social interaction, then explicit social skills are taught, followed by friendship skills. The term 3 group is designed for children aged between 8 and 12 years with social or emotional difficulties. Mealtime musclesThe group utilises a combined therapeutic approach to support your child to refine and develop age-appropriate oral motor skills (e.g. chewing and biting skills, the ability to move food around their mouth with their tongue) The term 3 group is designed for children aged between 1 and 3 years. Fussy eaters mealtimeThe group utilises a combined therapeutic approach to support your child to form a positive and play-based approach to food, as well as to help them cope with oral defensiveness (i.e. learn to tolerate foods they do not currently eat). The term 3 group is designed for children aged between 7 and 12 years. If you are interested in these programs, please contact us for further information. Contact Eat Speak Learn for a complimentary initial consultationEmail: enquries@eatspeaklearn.com.auPhone: 02 6156 2804 Address: Northpoint Plaza BelconnenWebsite: www.eatspeaklearn.com.au ]]>

Kids are more vulnerable to the flu – here’s what to look out for this winter

A ten-year-old Perth boy is the latest Australian child to die from suspected influenza so far this year. This follows the deaths of three Victorian children, and a teenager in South Australia. Influenza-associated deaths in childhood are uncommon. Despite this, influenza is the most common cause of vaccine-preventable death – more common than meningococcal disease or pertussis (whooping cough). On average, between five and ten Australian children are reported to die from influenza each year. Tragically, many flu deaths occur in previously healthy children. These deaths can frequently be prevented through vaccination: analysis by Australian researchers determined that of the children who died from influenza in New South Wales in the ten years to 2014, none were vaccinated. Read more: Thinking about getting your child the flu vaccine? Here’s what you need to know More cases and greater harms Influenza virus is predominantly spread in droplets created when people with flu cough and sneeze. The virus can also live on objects touched by those with flu, picked up by the hands of others. Children are more likely to catch and spread influenza: they have large volumes of virus in their nasal secretions and, after infection, shed this for days. They also have poorer hygiene practices, often coughing and spluttering over those closest to them. For many young children with flu, it is the first time they are exposed to the virus. Their immune system is naïve to influenza and therefore responds more slowly to the infection. This means the influenza virus can cause significant ill-effects before the immune system can bring it under control. Read more: Flu vaccine won’t definitely stop you from getting the flu, but it’s more important than you think Thousands of children who contract the flu are hospitalised every year; hospitalisation ratesin children are much greater than in older people. Children younger than five years are the age group most likely to be hospitalised. Although children with underlying medical conditions including chronic disorders of the heart, lungs, nervous and immune system are most susceptible, more than half of childrenadmitted to hospital each year are healthy. What should you look out for? Influenza most commonly causes fever, cough, headache, a sore throat and a runny nose. The virus can also infect the lungs, causing pneumonia. Some children react to the infection by developing vomiting, diarrhoea and muscle aches and pains. Many parents aren’t aware that influenza can also cause damage to the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. It is unclear why these complications occur in some children and not others, but they can be severe. Young children get frequent infections and often develop symptoms that are difficult to distinguish from influenza. Testing on a nose or throat swab can be done to confirm if the illness is caused by influenza virus. Parents should seek medical attention if their child: has difficulty breathing (breathing rapidly or drawing in chest or neck muscles) is vomiting and refusing to drink is more sleepy than normal has pain that doesn’t get better with simple pain relief medication. Most importantly, if you’re worried about your child during the flu season, see a doctor. Vaccination is the most effective way to protect your child against the flu. From shutterstock.com How does this year’s season compare? Australia has had an unusual start to the 2019 influenza season, with higher numbers of cases during the warmer months than expected. The number of cases of influenza diagnosed each week is currently greater than in 2017 and in the 2009 swine flu pandemic. In 2017, Australia experienced its worst influenza season on record. More than 220,000 Australians were diagnosed with influenza, with health-care services and hospitals inundated with children, adults and the elderly suffering the effects of influenza. Read more: Here’s why the 2017 flu season was so bad The stories of healthy young people succumbing to flu were particularly heartbreaking. Although it is never possible to predict what will happen in coming months, a number of measures point to a larger than average influenza season in 2019. How can I protect my children? Vaccination is recommended for all Australians from six months of age. It’s free for all children aged from six months to under five years, those with certain medical risk factors including severe asthma and chronic heart, respiratory, neurological and immune conditions, all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, pregnant women, and people aged 65 years and over. Those too young to be vaccinated (children five months and younger) are protected by their mothers being vaccinated during pregnancy. You can get your family vaccinated at your local general practice, council or community health clinic, or Aboriginal Medical Service. If you or your child are not eligible for a free flu vaccine, the usual vaccine cost is around A$20. As the virus is constantly changing, the effectiveness of the vaccine can vary each year. Australian research has shown that the risk of flu is reduced, on average, by 50–60% in children who receive the vaccine. This can mean that some children who get vaccinated will unfortunately still get the flu. However, some evidence suggests the disease will be milder if you catch it and have been vaccinated. It’s not possible to predict who will catch the flu or develop complications, but vaccination remains the most effective and safest tool to protect children against influenza. Read more: Should I get the flu shot if I’m pregnant? Childhood flu vaccination programs have an added bonus of reducing flu in others in the community who are not vaccinated by reducing the spread of the virus. This is called “herd” or “community” immunity and particularly helps protect vulnerable people who may be at risk of becoming seriously ill with the flu. This article was originally published in The Conversation. Read the original article. Authors: Christopher Blyth, Paediatrician, Infectious Diseases Physician and Clinical Microbiologist, University of Western Australia Kristine Macartney, Professor, Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney Samantha Carlson, PhD Candidate, School of Public Health, University of Sydney ]]>

Teenagers need our support, not criticism, as they navigate life online

Imagine you’re a 14-year-old girl on the train on your way home from school, when out of nowhere a “dick pic” appears on your phone. Surprise! You’ve been cyber flashed. It’s a form of harassment that didn’t exist even a few years ago, and highlights the fast-evolving digital world our teenagers now have to manage (along with all the more regular challenges of nearly being an adult). Read more: Don’t fall for it: a parent’s guide to protecting your kids from online hoaxes Cyber flashing involves sending unsolicited obscene images to strangers via AirDrop or Bluetooth on your smartphone. Unlike old-fashioned flashing, in which the culprit is standing right in front of you, cyber flashing is anonymous. The sender positions themself in a shopping centre, sporting ground, or other public space and sends the photo to anyone within a 3-metre radius – it could be a teenager, an adult or even a 3-year-old holding mum’s phone. The victim will likely search around to identify the sender, but ultimately it is a guessing game; it could be anyone in your field of vision. Like other online harassment such as posting threatening messages, photos or videos online or repeatedly sending unwanted messages, the aim of cyber flashing is to humiliate the victim, and incite fear. The anonymity of the communication exacerbates this. In the case of the 14-year-old girl, she would have no opportunity to identify her harasser, to seek justice, or even gain an apology for their actions. This will likely leave her feeling powerless, anxious and potentially fearful of future communications by the harasser. Digital devices have changed us Digital devices have massively influenced how, when, where and why we communicate with others. For example, it is almost standard practice now for many of us to send a series of digital messages over the course of the day, recounting where you are and what you are doing. It may be to your partner, friend, or as social media status updates to whoever is interested, and it could result in 10, 20 or even 50+ digital messages every day. Twenty years ago, this form of communication would have been highly unusual, almost impossible to deliver, and likely considered inappropriate behaviour. Snapshat, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and more… kids constantly update their friends on what they’re doing each day. from www.shutterstock.com The constantly changing ways we use technology to communicate with anyone, anytime and anywhere, has had a huge impact on the lives of parents and their children as they endeavour to navigate the digital age in a safe and healthy way. Until recently, parents did not even know they had to guide their children in how to manage cyber flashing. Outdated thinking doesn’t help Some public figures recommend confiscating technology as the only way to keep young people safe. Such proposals, however, are unhelpful and unfeasible, and based on outdated thinking. The horse has bolted, and technology use has firmly become a central and defining feature of life today. Smartphone use is almost ubiquitous for young people (95%), and social media is firmly established as their preferred platform for communicating with others. Solutions to keep young people safe need to acknowledge and build this understanding into solutions, rather than dismiss or ignore the realities of their digital lives. While adults often interpret social media as negatively affecting the relationships young people form, this is not the consensus among teens. Although 27% of teens concede that social media has led to more bullying, overall spread of rumours, and less meaningful human interactions, 31% consider social media to have a mostly positive influence on their life. Teens emphasise social media makes it easier to communicate with family and friends, to connect with new people, to be self-expressive and to get support from others. For the most part, however, nearly half (45%) of teens say the effect of social media is neither positive nor negative on them; it is just life as they know it. Can we expect cyber safety to ease? New online safety risks emerge because of a range of intertwined factors. Continual technology innovation, our increasingly skilled use of our devices, and more blurring of our online and offline lives means that new ways to harass and to be harassed will unfortunately continue to emerge. It’s not just about the technology, however. Harassment (whether digital or not) also boils down to human values. It taps into prejudices and discrimination that relate to, for example, sexuality or gender identity. It can also be connected to personality traits such as impulsivity, low self-control, inability to appropriately express anger and low self-esteem. Direct comparison between factors influencing cyber bullying compared to school yard bullying is difficult. However, some factors are emerging as more influential on cyber bullying. For example, over controlling parenting can lead to an increase in children engaging in cyber bullying victimisation. A high level of moral disengagement is associated with cyber bullying. Read more: Kids need to learn about cybersecurity, but teachers only have so much time in the day Let’s help young people Our digital lives are still human lives. It’s vital we support young people to feel safe, and able to deal with the ever-changing risks that can come via digital communication. Adolescence is a time of transition, and media use in children is increasing. This means parental involvement can be particularly influential and important in supporting teens ability to understand and manage online harassment should it occur. Research consistently shows approximately one in two young people who experience bullying never tell anyone out of fear, embarrassment or a lack of faith in support systems. A strong and supportive parent-teen relationship, based on good and open communication and healthy guidance should be at the heart of any online safety strategy implemented in the home. This fosters a sense of openness, so that a teen will feel comfortable to tell their parent about being cyber-flashed or other online harassment they may experience. Dismissing teens’ digital lives, trivialising them or being highly judgemental will not. This article was originally published in The Conversation. Read the original article. Author: Joanne Orlando, Researcher: Technology and Learning, Western Sydney University ]]>

Eat Speak Learn Speech Pathology Services

At Eat Speak Learn, our staff are the core of our practice and are willing to do anything to support families and clients. We currently have ten certified practicing speech pathologists with experience in all areas of speech pathology, including speech, language, literacy, swallowing/feeding, voice, stuttering and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). We use the latest evidence and practical experience to ensure each client receives the most optimal outcomes. Our speech pathologists also have additional training in: • Hanen Training – It Takes Two to Talk • Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) • Sounds-Write • Traffic Jam in my Brain • Keyword Sign • Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) • Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) Communication books • Proloquo2go • Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) • Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding (SOS) • Sarah Star feeding • Camperdown Program • Lidcombe Program • School age stuttering A successful practice cannot operate smoothly without the significant support of an administration team. Our admin staff are serious about service with a smile, making you feel welcome and making your time with us a positive and comfortable process. Contact Eat Speak Learn for a complimentary initial consultation Email: enquries@eatspeaklearn.com.au Phone: 02 6156 2804 Address: Northpoint Plaza Belconnen Website: www.eatspeaklearn.com.au ]]>

How much physical activity should teenagers do, and how can they get enough?

Many teenagers spend a lot of time being sedentary (sitting or lying down) at school or work, when travelling and during their free time. Modern conveniences such as smart phones, computers and food delivered to your front door encourage sedentary behaviour. But this lack of physical activity can have negative consequences for your physical and mental health. Read more: How physical activity in Australian schools can help prevent depression in young people We have all probably been told we have to exercise to stay healthy, but how much physical activity is the right amount for teenagers? And what are the benefits? How much and why? All Australians aged 13-17 are encouraged to do 60 minutes of physical activity each day. There are numerous benefits of physical activity, including physical (improved fitness and decreased risk of illness), social (having fun with friends) and emotional (helps manage stress and anxiety) benefits. You should try to include a combination of aerobic activities (such as swimming or walking), strength training (such as sit ups or weight training) and flexibility training (such as yoga or stretching). Try to include a mix of different types of exercise in your routine. Image from www.shutterstock.com Try to mix up easy, moderate, and harder activities that are both fun and personally challenging. Limiting sitting time and screen time by regularly interrupting periods of sedentary behaviour is another good idea. For example, standing and moving for a few minutes after every hour of sitting. There are 1,440 minutes in every day, so being physically active for just 60 minutes is easily achievable. Planned activities There are hundreds of types of physical activities you could do. The most important thing is to do activities you enjoy, because you’ll be more likely to keep doing them. Research also suggests you’ll be more likely to be physically active if you exercise with your friends. Doing a Google search for your location and activity (for example, “swimming clubs near me”) will help you find heaps of clubs and groups you can join up to keep active with your friends, and find new friends with similar interests. Check out some of the types of planned physical activities you can participate in, in the diagram below and challenge yourself to try something new. Technology can be both good and bad when it comes to physical activity. Smart phones and computers contribute to sedentary behaviour, but they can also be used to promote and encourage physical activity behaviours. There are numerous mobile apps that can help motivate you to increase your physical activity. Getting a pedometer or smart watch could also help motivate you to do the recommend minimum of 10,000 steps a day. Incidental activity Another way you can increase your physical activity is to increase the activity you do throughout the day. Incidental activity refers to any movement that increases your level of daily activity. These activities don’t happen at the gym, but instead rely on your daily choices. For example, office workers are often told to get more activity into their day by doing things such as parking further away from work and walking the rest of the way, and using the stairs instead of the lift. Walking the family pet is a good option to work physical activity into your daily routine. Image from www.shutterstock.com Similarly, you could: walk or ride to school instead of taking a car or bus walk around the oval as you chat to your friends at lunchtime instead of sitting do something active when you meet up with your friends on the weekend, such as swimming at the beach do an extra lap when you go to the shopping centre and/or, go down every aisle when you go to the supermarket at family gatherings, play games with your younger siblings and cousins rather than playing on your phone take your dog for a walk and a play at the park more often ride an exercise bike or do some stretching while you watch TV have “active ads” where you do something active – such as push ups or body weight squats – every time a commercial comes on playing exergames like Nintendo Wii can be better than just sitting on the couch. Read more: Exergames: good for play time, but should not replace physical education Making these simple choices each day can become a habit that increases your physical activity and improves your health. Incidental activity doesn’t replace planned exercise, but all the activity you do during the day adds up, and these two forms of activity can work together to increase your physical activity level. Incidental activity requires no special equipment or preparation. You can just stand up and move at any time you choose. Remember: something is better than nothing and more is better than less. This article was originally published in The Conversation. Read the original article. Authors: Vaughan Cruickshank, Program Director – Health and Physical Education, Maths/Science, Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania Casey Peter Mainsbridge, Lecturer in Health and Physical Education, Director of Student Engagement School of Education, University of Tasmania Kira Patterson, Lecturer in Health Pedagogy, University of Tasmania ]]>