Brain injury - Physical activity

  • Involving your child in physical activities can help them in many ways, including maintaining their muscle strength and making them feel better about themselves.

    Ways that physical activity can benefit your child include:

    • the chance to mix with friends, siblings and family
    • help with weight control
    • keeping muscle strength and motor abilities
    • having fun
    • helping with fitness
    • making new friends
    • feeling better about themselves

    Long-term benefits for your child include:

    • better health as an adult
    • healthier weight as an adult

    How can your child be involved in physical activity?

    Unstructured physical activity

    Unstructured physical activity includes general mobility and play and can happen at home, in the backyard, at school or at the playground. Your child may need equipment (such as a supportive walker) that allows them to stand with their hands free, or a modified bicycle so they can make the most of playtime.

    Research has shown that reducing the amount of time your child spends watching television or using a computer will increase the amount of unstructured physical activity they will do.

    Structured physical activity

    Many organisations provide a chance for a child with a physical disability to be involved in both individual and team physical activities. Many of these organisations have leaders who are specifically trained in this area, or who are happy to work with your child's physiotherapist to include your child.

    Key points to remember

    • Increase your child's physical activity levels by reducing the amount of time watching television and playing electronic games.
    • Your child's physiotherapist can recommend appropriate physical activities for your child.

    For more information

    Developed by The Royal Children's Hospital Paediatric Rehabilitation Service. We acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.

    Reviewed August 2020.

    Kids Health Info is supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit


This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.