Active Lives Children and Young People results are released

Active Lives Children and Young People results are released

Posted: Fri, 06 Dec 2019 13:09

Active Lives Children and Young People results are released

Children's activity levels on the rise nationally

  • Almost half of children in England now take part in an average of 60 minutes of physical activity a day – up 3.6% from last year.
  • The rise is driven by more children getting active outside of school – 57.2% of children and young people do an average of 30 minutes or more a day outside of school, compared to 40.4% at school.
  • Significant inequalities remain in the areas of family affluence, gender and race.

Almost half of children and young people (46.8%) in England are now doing the recommended average of 60 or more minutes of physical activity a day - a rise of 3.6% over the last year.

This finding comes from the second annual Sport England's 'Active Lives Children and Young People' report into the activity levels of the nation's children and means that 3.3 million children are now meeting the new recommended Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Guidelines - 279,600 more children than last year.

Government guidelines recommend that children and young people should get 30 minutes of their daily physical activity in the school day and 30 minutes outside of school. The figures show that there has been a rise in children getting active outside of school over the last year, with 57% (up 4.6%) doing an average of 30 minutes or more a day outside of school, compared to 40% at school.

At the other end of the scale, 2.1 million children and young people (29.0%) are doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day, and while that number is decreasing (by 3.9% over the last year) it is a reminder of how much more needs to be done. In the middle, another 1.7 million (24.2%) children are 'fairly active' taking part in average of 30-59 minutes a day.

In Oxfordshire similar results have been recorded:

There has been a reduction of 6% of children in the county (5100 children) who are 'less active' i.e. less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

There has also been a healthy increase of 5.1% (4700 children) in Oxfordshire meeting Chief Medical Officer guidelines. However, there are still 47.6% or 42,100 children who do not meet these guidelines.

Paul Brivio, Active Oxfordshire Chief Executive says "On the face of it these results are encouraging and show a positive shift in the right direction. There are clear increases both in those who meet the CMO guidelines and reductions in those who are inactive. However, nearly 1 in 2 of our young people are still not meeting the CMO guidelines and we are being confronted by what I have called a ticking timebomb. Lifestyles today mean more young people are sedentary and that will lead to poor health outcomes later in life. We know that physical inactivity kills as many people as smoking now so we do need to do something different! We must deliver change"

Dean Woodham, North Oxfordshire's School Sports Partnership Manager says "Oxfordshire's strength is its energy and creativity and now we need to harness that by working together to fight inactivity in our society. We know that no single organisation working on their own can deliver the change needed so we must do more to bring together teachers, parents, health providers, local authorities, sports clubs, facility managers and the third sector to promote physical literacy. This needs to be as important as reading and maths if we are to develop well balanced, well- motivated and energetic children. We need to work together to provide great opportunities and pathways for our next generation to move, to have fun, to be engaged and to be the best they want to be in the sport or activity of their choice. In that context we need to strive to get the activity levels of girls to the same level as boys so there is a lot we need to do "

Active Oxfordshire will be working with partners to address the issues in 2020 and has recently issued a film - Fighting Inactivity in Oxfordshire- https://www.activeoxfordshire.org/fighting-inactivity. In the film a local headteacher talks about a "moral duty" on us all to produce a generation of healthy, active children and that will be the focus of our work with partners in 2020.

Tags: Active Lives, Children, Physical Activity, Sport

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