Threats & Opportunities for Kids on School Holidays Webinar

This webinar will discuss the differences in how children spend their time in the school term versus whilst on school holidays, and the effect this has on their health and fitness.

Threats & Opportunities for Kids on School Holidays Webinar

We know a lot about how kids use their time during the school term, both at school and at home, but very little about how they use their time on holidays, when it is harder to access and assess them. The few studies that have been done suggest that on holidays kids are less active, spend more time in front of screens, and more time sedentary. Diet quality also declines, and caloric intake increases. 

As a result, weight increases and fitness declines faster during holidays than during the school terms. In one US study, the entire annual increase in children’s weight occurred over the summer holidays. Some studies suggest that the declines are worse for kids from disadvantaged families, increasing the gap between the rich and the poor.

These effects may be due to the lack of structure that kids experience during the holidays. At school, there are (ideally) programmed activity periods, healthy tuckshop food, and minimal screen time. During the holidays, sporting competitions often stop, there is open access to food in the home, and kids often have unsupervised screen time. The structured day hypothesis may explain relative declines during the holiday period.

Studies have also shown that in general kids who engage in programmed activity during the summer break — holiday camps, activity days, sports — do better than kids who do not. There is a strong holiday camp culture in Europe and North America, but not in Australia. We should also look at empowering parents to keep kids active during the endless summers, and perhaps even at shortening the summer holiday period.

Presented by Professor Tim Olds

Tim Olds is Bradley Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) of Behavioural Epidemiology at the University of South Australia. After completing a PhD in French at the University of Sydney, Tim went on to study exercise science, earning a second PhD in 1997. His research interests have been in mathematical modelling of cycling performance; anthropometry; historical trends in the sleep, fitness, weight, physical activity and food intake of children, and the relationship between health and use of time. Tim has 437 peer-reviewed publications and over $32 m in grants and consultancies.


Friday, 10 May 2024
12:30pm - 2:00pm AEST

Please note, the times listed are in Australian Eastern Standard Time. 
Your local time will be: 
 ACT:          12:30pm - 2:00pm
 NSW:    12:30pm - 2:00pm
 NT:    12:00pm - 1:30pm
 QLD:    12:30pm - 2:00pm
 SA:    12:00pm - 1:30pm
 TAS:    12:30pm - 2:00pm
 VIC:    12:30pm - 2:00pm
 WA:    10:30am - 12:00pm
Please note: This is a live webinar and needs to be watched at the specified time above. If you are unable to watch the webinar live, it will be produced as an online activity and can be purchased within the following month.

Rates per person

ESSA Member   $33.00 
Non-Member       $55.00
ESSA Student Member            $16.50
Student Non-Member    $27.50 
ESSA Member PD+   $29.70
Non-Member PD+   $49.50
Please see terms & conditions for registration type definitions.

Access to Webinar

You will be emailed a link to access the webinar approximately one hour prior to the scheduled start time.

Target Audience

Any Accredited Exercise Scientist, Accredited Exercise Physiologist



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Registration for this professional development will close at 10:30am AEST, Friday, 10 May 2024.

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  • When
    10/05/2024 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
    E. Australia Standard Time

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