Sport England has released the results of the first ever Active Lives Children and Young People Survey and they reveal a concerning picture of the activity levels of children in Lincolnshire, and England at large.
The results for Lincolnshire are above the national average, suggesting 44.9% of children and young people are active for 60 mins or more every day or almost every day, whereas for England as a whole that percentage drops to 43.3%.
However when this figure is analysed further and the percentage of children who are active every day for 60 minutes is revealed the percentage drops by half. Meaning that in Lincolnshire only 22.2% of children do enough activity every day (for England this percentage drops to only 17.5% of children who are moving for long enough, often enough).
Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth says the results from this major survey of children’s activity levels should be “a big wake-up call for all of us”.
Shockingly the survey suggests that in Lincolnshire 32.4% (that is 29,000 children) do less than 30 minutes of activity a day. With the least active counties being Boston, with 46.4% of children doing less than 30 minutes of activity a day, and West Lindsey, reporting only 15.3% of children do 60 mins of activity a day, every day.
The report is based on responses from more than 130,000 children aged 5-16 in England during the academic year September 2017-July 2018. It highlights the importance of a whole system approach and the importance of creating a supportive environment for children to move more, both inside school and outside school.
In Lincolnshire we are fortunate to have The One Network. This is a collaboration of local and national not-for-profit organisations who seek to increase the quality and quantity of PE, school sport and physical activity for the benefit of children’s health and wellbeing.
Active Lincolnshire’s Navaz Sutton, a member of the One Network, said: “with help from the Primary School Sports Premium funding there is more money for schools and a focus on including activity into the classroom and not limiting it to only PE lessons.
“There are a wealth of programmes that provide opportunities to include physical activity into the school and extended day, making it easier for children to reach their recommended levels of activity every day. However more can be done and we are working hard to bring about change in Lincolnshire”
South Kesteven and East Lindsey are currently showing a much higher percentage of children who report doing 60 mins of activity every day (26.7% and 25.3% respectively) compared the 17.5% national average and this shows the good work already being done by schools, in sport and activity clubs and by parents.
As Tim Hollingsworth said: “Parents, schools, the sport and leisure industry and government all have a role to play in addressing and increasing childhood activity.”
He is calling for a national focus on the health and wellbeing of our nation’s children and for the whole system to be united in delivering change saying: “Our children deserve better and Sport England is determined to play its part”