The results of the 2019/2020 national ‘Active Lives Children and Young People Survey’ have been released by Sport England and show that activity levels of children in Lincolnshire have increased.
The Active Lives Children and Young People survey is the main source of data used nationally to understand activity levels. As part of Active Lincolnshire’s role, the charity leads the survey locally through working with schools to engage them with the survey and encourage completion by pupils. The results below are based on 2,381 individual responses, from 18 primary and 20 secondary schools across the county.
Covid-19 has clearly had an impact on physical activity levels, in and outside the school setting. It is important to note that the results described here have been adversely impacted by Covid-19 including the research methodology that moved to online data collation. The true impact of Coid-19 on activity levels, habits and behaviours and attitudes towards being active are not yet fully understood.
However, even with the detrimental effects of the 2020 summer lockdown and school closures, the results of the 2019/20 Active Lives survey are positive for Lincolnshire. Graph A demonstrates:
– Almost 50% of children (approximately 44,500) reported taking 60 minutes or more of activity every day exceeding the national average of 45%.
– This is an 4% increase in the number of physically active children in Lincolnshire from the results recorded in 2017/18.
– The percentage of fairly active (that is children who do more than 30 minutes but less than 60 minutes of activity a day) was 25%, a slight increase on the national average of 24%.
– Crucially the number of inactive children fell by 6.5% since the results taken in 2017/18 to 26% representing a statistically significant decrease in inactive children – and is much lower than the national average for inactive children across England of 31.3%.
Activity level by gender shows that boys continued to be more active than girls (graph B), however it appears that the pandemic has impacted the activity levels of boys more than girls (graph C) with a 4% increase in the number of boys who didn’t achieve more than 30 minutes of activity a day compared to the previous year.
This could be because of the cancellation of team sports having a bias towards boys, and girls finding alternative ways to become active in lockdown, such as walking and cycling.
As the impact of Covid-19 deepens, Active Lincolnshire encourages everyone working with children and young people during this incredibly difficult time to continue to prioritise their physical and mental health. Especially in the days and months to come, where ensuring children continue to meet the recommended daily activity level of 60 minutes may become more challenging than previously.
The incredible work that is being done for children’s health across Lincolnshire is clear in this set of results, Lincolnshire continues to widen the gap in activity levels against the national average. Recovery of physical and mental health after Covid 19 will undoubtedly be critical, which is why it is so important that we continue to focus on and promote all forms of physical activity.
Active Lincolnshire has collated a library of activity resources for teachers and parents on our website: Keeping Children Active at Home.