The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has clarified the rules on outdoor exercise time for parents of young children.

The rule states: Parents or carers of children can take their children for one hour of active outdoor play outside the home. This is separate to the one hour of exercise allowed for parents or carers each day.

Children need physical activity, and imaginative play in the outdoors. Green spaces and quiet streets are suitable for this wide range of play. To limit the number of people gathering in public, only the minimum necessary number of parents or carers should accompany a child and adults should continue to wear masks.

MCRI's Professor Sharon Goldfeld said, "We welcome the clarification from DHHS around outdoor play and exercise for parents. Outdoor play is crucial for mental health and positive developmental impacts on children. Especially for those families without backyards in higher density living, removing the confusion over the one hour of exercise is a really valuable measure."

Available for interview:
Professor Sharon Goldfeld, Lead, Population Health at MCRI
Cat Sewell, Play Specialist with Raising Children Network

Media Contact:
Bridie Byrne
MCRI communications specialist
+61 403 664 416

About MCRI

The Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) is the largest child health research institute in Australia committed to making discoveries and developing treatments to improve child and adolescent health in Australia and around the world. MCRI pioneers new treatments, trials better vaccines and improves ways of diagnosing and helping sick babies, children and adolescents. MCRI is one of the only research institutes in Australia to offer genetic testing to find answers for families of children with previously undiagnosed conditions. MCRI is a partner organisation of the Australian government-funded parenting website, For more information on children's play, visit