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First study into activity levels in children and young people finds that one in three children aren't active enough

Posted: Thu, 06 Dec 2018 16:05

First study into activity levels in children and young people finds that one in three children aren't active enough

The study released today by Sport England revealed that over a third of young people (aged 5-16) surveyed did less than 30 minutes of activity per day - this is half of the regular activity young people should be getting each day. Children should be doing 60 minutes per week, 30 minutes activity during the school day and 30 minutes outside school according to the Chief Medical Office.

The study also found that socioeconomic status and gender played significant roles in physical activity levels. Boys are more likely to be active than girls, and children from the most affluent families are more active than those in the least affluent families.

The online survey of 130,000 children and young people is the first of its kind in both scope and breadth of questions, taking into account physical activity levels inside and outside school, and attitudes towards activity. Sport England will be publishing additional data around young peoples' attitudes to physical activity in March 2019.

Physical activity plays a key role in the focus on prevention to help relieve pressures on the health and social care systems. These figures showcase the scale of the challenge in getting young people to be more active, and highlights the important need to embed physical activity as part of a healthy and active lifestyle that can help young people to get on track to be healthy in adulthood.

In Norfolk, the figures are a little bit better than the national results:

  • 18.4% of young people are doing 60+ minutes of activity per day, compared to 17.5% nationally
  • 25.6% are active across the week, meaning they do an average of 60 minutes a day, but not everyday - compared to 25.7% nationally
  • 23.5% are classed as fairly active - doing an average of 30-59 minutes per day, compared to 23.9% nationally
  • 32.6% are less active, meaning they do less than an average of 30 minutes a day, compared to 32.9% nationally

Steve Hulme, Development Manager for Children and Young People at Active Norfolk, said: "Physical activity contributes to improving physical health, mental health and learning, helping our young people to be happy, healthy and prosperous. The Active Lives data outlines a clear need for continued collective action in Norfolk, the health and happiness of young people is everyone's responsibility which is why we developed the cross-sector Active Futures strategy to encourage all sectors to support in creating the conditions for active and healthy lifestyles."

The full report can be accessed at http://www.sportengland.org/activeliveschildren

Tags: Active Lives, Norfolk, Sport England, Young People, Youth