Alliance map reveals alarming picture of childhood inactivity

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CYP Data Project ()

The Sport and Recreation Alliance has revealed an activity map which shows the alarming number of children and young people who fail to meet minimum recommended levels of activity in England.

Across the country 82.5% of children are not active for at least one hour per day, the guidance provided by the Chief Medical Officer.

In areas such as Sheffield, Sunderland, Wolverhampton and Westminster – this rate rises towards, and over, 90%.

More worryingly, in the worst performing Local Authorities, almost half of under 16s were active for less than just 30 minutes each day.

Lisa Wainwright, CEO of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said: “These results demonstrate the very real issue that faces our children and young people today.

“The fact that even in the best performing Local Authorities, only one third of children meet the minimum recommended levels of activity set by the Chief Medical Officer is deeply concerning. It paints a clear picture of a national problem, which needs a local solution.

“This is why Alliance will be calling on support from within government to change the way in which sport and recreation is viewed for our youngsters. We are now looking to launch an Early Day Motion to start this change, as part of our wider Right To Be Active campaign.

“The factors that have led to this situation stretch across many government departments and further budget cuts to Local Authorities will only heap more pressure on local provision of sport and recreation.

“Our Early Day Motion is calling for a duty on Local Authorities to provide and promote physical activity opportunities for children and young people.

“With better, joined-up working across government we can reverse the frightening trends these results point to. We want to help create a healthier, happier and more active nation. Acknowledging there is a problem is the start to the solution.

“We know that our members are already doing fantastic work in reaching out to and driving up participation in this age group, but we must continue to collaborate in order to play a central role in getting more children and young people engaged in physical activity.

“Now government must work with the sector, schools, communities and families to get more of our youngsters active.”

Using data provided by the Sport England Active Lives Children and Young People survey, the Alliance has created an interactive map which plots childhood activity levels by local authority in England.

The results show not only that a large majority of children and young people are failing to meet minimum recommended levels, but also one third spend less than 30 minutes involved in moderate to vigorous activity per day.

As a sign of the scale of the problem, every English region had at least one Local Authority in the bottom performing 25 when it came to activity levels.

To view the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s childhood activity map, and to see how your local area is performing, please head here.


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