Scale of inactivity crisis revealed as 4 in 5 children miss out on benefits of daily activity

The release of Sport England Active Lives: Children and Young People this morning has shown that 82% of children are not meeting activity guidelines set by government.

Responding to the survey, Emma Boggis, CEO at the Alliance said: “As a nation we must declare that enough is enough.

“Today’s results confirm that our children and young people are not active enough to be happy and healthy and collectively we are in danger of breeding a generation of children that will die earlier than their parents.

“Whilst we are pleased to see the positive association between physical activity and mental wellbeing, the fact so many children and young people don’t meet guidelines set by the Chief Medical Officer on daily activity is deeply concerning as most children are missing out on the impact this activity can have on their happiness.

“The research we undertook in ‘Why are we failing our children’ has shown that this crisis has been building for over forty years. It must stop now.

“This is why we have started a campaign which calls for every child to have the fundamental #RightToBeActive. We want to work with government to solve this crisis.

“It is a problem which bears no political colours and crosses the Westminster divide. We want to see cross-party action which mirrors the collaborative working we are undertaking with Sport England and sector partners to tackle this ticking timebomb head on.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the Secretary of State and the new Minister for Sport to engage with us and the sector to push for systematic change to improve the lives of millions of our children.

“The issues stretch across many government departments and we are calling for better, joined-up working to reverse the frightening trends we are seeing.

“The School Sport and Activity Action Plan that the government has announced it will publish in the Spring is a good opportunity to start that work. We also want to see a much longer-term approach which reflects the scale of the challenge ahead and the importance of improving the levels of physical activity outside of school settings.

“A heathier, happier generation of children will grow into healthier, happier adults and we know that inactivity is one of the biggest threats to this.

“We also know that there is incredible work being carried out across the country, by our members and their clubs, by schools and in communities.

“It is encouraging to see the number of children engaged in team sports and the important role that this continues to play in developing the skills and increasing the activity levels of our younger generations.

“We must scale up localised success and showcase those passionate individuals who are making a positive impact despite often being under-resourced and poorly funded.

“Acknowledging the issue is the start to the solution, but it is crucial that government works with the sector, schools, communities and families to get more of our youngsters active over the coming months and years.

“As a nation, we should refuse to settle for anything less.”

You can support the #RightToBeActive campaign here.

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