NATIONAL SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED TO SUPPORT CHILDREN TO BE MORE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE

NATIONAL SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED TO SUPPORT CHILDREN TO BE MORE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE

NATIONAL SURVEY BY SPORTS ENGLAND REVEAL OVER HALF OF CHILDREN AREN'T GETTING ENOUGH ACTIVITY

by Bryony Gray

12th December 2018

Press Release

NATIONAL SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED TO SUPPORT CHILDREN TO BE MORE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE

The results of a national survey by Sport England released last week revealed that over half of all children in England are doing less than the recommended average of 60 minutes physical activity a day. The results showed a slightly better picture for children in Gloucestershire, with 48.6% of children on average physically active every day compared to the national 43.3%.

There is a positive association2 between participation in physical activity and both higher levels of mental wellbeing and individual development in children, as well as the wider physical health benefits of reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes and reduced risk of cancer, dementia, stroke and heart disease as an adult3.

The results of the survey prompted a call for more to be done both in and out of schools to increase participation in physical activity. Tim Hollingsworth, the Chief Executive of Sport England, called for “a national focus on the health and wellbeing of our nation’s children” and the Sports Minister Mims Davies said “the number of young people who are not doing enough is simply unacceptable.”

Within Gloucestershire, the need to increase the number of children regularly doing physical activity has been recognised in schools. Half of all primary schools run their own Daily Mile programme, and the School Games programme, traditionally made up of traditional sports tournaments, is now designed and run to attract less active young people.

The national survey by Sport England also highlighted the difference between boys and girls, with girls being less active, increasingly so as they get older. In Gloucestershire, a project with the Youth Sport Trust is listening to and work with 11-14 year-old girls to see what would encourage them to be more active at school.

Deborah Potts, Active Gloucestershire’s CEO said: ”Whilst it is encouraging that a higher percentage of Gloucestershire’s children are physically active, the results of this survey still highlight that an hour of physical activity is far from the norm in our county. There is a real need now for everyone, from families and schools to organisations that influence what facilities are available to consider what they can do change this, in the interest of our children’s health and wellbeing”.

Active Gloucestershire is a county-based charity which supports organisations and individuals to become active every day. Resources, including the 2018/19 School Games programme can be found on the Active Gloucestershire’s Website.

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Contact: Lizgaffer@activegloucestershire.org / 01452 393604 Photo: Sport England Notes to editors: 1 The Sport England survey was conducted in the last academic year and covered 130,000 children in schools across England. 2 https://www.sportengland.org/media/13698/active-lives-children-survey-academic-year-17-18.pdf 3 https://www.sportengland.org/media/13558/active-lives-adult-may-2017-18-report.pdf 4 www.activegloucestershire.org.uk

Active Lives Children and Young People Survey Academic Year 2017/2018 Active Every Day Active Across the Week (average 60 minutes a day) Fairly Active (30-49 minutes a day) Less Active (Less than 30 minutes average a day) National 17.5% 25.7% 23.9% 32.9% Gloucestershire 18.5% 30.1% 22.0% 29.0%

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