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First results from the new Active Lives Children Survey

Survey results reveal activity levels of children in England


Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth says the results from a major survey of children’s activity levels should be “a big wake-up call for all of us”.
 

The first-ever Active Lives Children and Young People Survey shows that 2.3 million children and young people (32.9%) do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

“I am calling for a national focus on the health and wellbeing of our nation’s children and for the whole system to be united in delivering change. Our children deserve better and Sport England is determined to play its part,” says Tim.

“Parents, schools, the sport and leisure industry and government all have a role to play in addressing and increasing childhood activity.

“This research is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and these results tell us that what is currently being done to support them is not enough and change is required.”

The report is based on responses from more than 130,000 children aged 5-16 in England during the academic year September 2017-July 2018.

Stark inequalities

Around 3 million children (43.3%) lead active lives, while a further 1.7 million (23.9%) are classified as fairly active, doing between 30 and 59 minutes of physical activity a day.

The results also show some significant inequalities in activity levels, based on family income.

In total, 39% of children in the least affluent families do fewer than 30 minutes of activity a day, compared to 26% of children from the most affluent families.

And while 77% of all children can swim 25 metres unaided by the time they leave primary school, that figure drops to 42% for children from the least affluent families and is at 86% for the most affluent.

Sports Minister Mims Davies said: "While it is encouraging that 3 million children do at least an average of 60 minutes of sport or physical activity every day, the number of young people who are not doing enough is simply unacceptable.

"We know that an active child is a happier child and efforts must be stepped up to encourage young people to live healthy, active lives and I know that Sport England are committed to making progress in this area.”

 

Full report: www.sportengland.org/activeliveschildren/