Landmark report reveals children’s activity levels for the first time

Posted: Thu, 06 Dec 2018 12:30

Landmark report reveals children’s activity levels for the first time

New research published by Sport England today, carried out independently by Ipsos MORI, reveals the scale of the challenge to help the nation's children be more active, and the benefits that sport and physical activity can bring.

Active Lives Children and Young People is the largest ever survey of its kind, and provides comprehensive insight into how children in England are taking part in sport and physical activity both in and out of school. It shows that around 3 million children (43.3%) lead active lives, doing an average of 60 or more minutes of physical activity a day. However just over 2.3 million children and young people (32.9%) are less active which means they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

The report is based on responses from over 130,000 children aged 5-16 in England during the academic year 2017 to 2018. It also reveals that there are significant inequalities based on family income.

It shows that children from the most affluent families are more active than those in the least affluent families.

For North Yorkshire and York the picture is encouraging with both areas having a higher percentage of children meeting the Chief Medical Officer's physical activity guidelines of at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity per day, and lower than average percentages of children falling into the 'less active' category (see below)


Physical Activity Level

60+ Minutes Every Day

An Average of 60+ Minutes a day but not every day

An Average of 30-59 minutes a day

Less than an average of 30 minutes a day

National Average





North Yorkshire










David Watson, Chief Executive of North Yorkshire Sport said, 'Whilst it is fantastic for this new research to help us understand physical activity levels of children and young people, we 100% support the call for a national focus on the health and well being of our nation's children. We will continue to support schools, clubs, teachers and professionals and are making great strides in this area but clearly there is still work to be done to reach those who are less active or do not meet the weekly Chief Medical Officer's guidelines of 60 minutes of physical activity a day.'

North Yorkshire Sport contribute to reducing inactivity in children and young people in a number of ways across York and North Yorkshire, and helped facilitate the new survey in 41 schools in 2017/2018.

Our wider offer covers many areas:

On an annual basis North Yorkshire Sport deliver the Level 3 School Games that engages over 2000 children in competitive events and health based festivals.

We have helped to establish 93 satellite clubs based around young people's needs, which have been proven to help increase activity levels in participants

We directly support primary schools to ensure they are using the PE and School Sport Premium funding effectively, and have helped schools improve the opportunities on offer for children and increase staff confidence to deliver high quality physical activity within the school.

Through Continued Professional Development opportunities we provide, over 200 teachers accessed training last academic year, with schools reporting that they have re-written PE curriculum development plans, improved monitoring and assessment and built a more physically active ethos around the school.

We have also recently launched an online learning portal to provide knowledge and understanding across a number of different topics. The first module 'Physically Active Learning' aims to support teachers to understand the benefits this approach can have on pupils, and how teachers can implement this across the school.

We are working with schools to support them to implement the 30 active minutes a day during school time. For example, we have supported schools to implement the Daily Mile, Active Travel Plans and produced a '30 things for 30 minutes' resource to equip teachers with ideas, and resources to get their children active.

We also work with a number of organisations to increase activity levels and are currently in the process of supporting North Yorkshire County Council to write a Healthy Schools Award and are continuously engaging with schools and teachers to gain insight into what support teachers require to be better equipped to teach PE. We are challenging schools to embed physical activity in to the school day and as a tool for whole school improvement to support numeracy, literacy, behaviour and attendance.

To read the full Sport England report please click here

Tags: Clubs, Insight, News, School Games, School Sport, Schools