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Interactive map reveals 'alarming picture of childhood inactivity' across England

By Tom Walker    22 Jul 2019
82.5 per cent of children in England fail to meet the recommended activity levels

A new interactive map charting physical activity among children in England reveals that more than 90 per cent of young people in some regions are failing to meet the minimum recommended levels of exercise.

Using data provided by Sport England's Active Lives Children and Young People survey, the interactive map – published by the Sport and Recreation Alliance (SRA) – plots childhood activity levels by each local authority in England.

To view the map, click here.

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.

Across the country, 82.5 per cent of children are not active for at least one hour per day.

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

“These results demonstrate the very real issue that faces our children and young people today," said Lisa Wainwright, SRA chief executive.

“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."

Wainwright added that inactivity is reaching a 'crisis point' – and that the solution could be to provide local authorities with the funds and tools to tackle the issue.

"The results of the map paint a clear picture of a national problem, which needs a local solution," she said.

“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.”

To view the map, click here.

Sport England  Sport and Recreation Alliance 
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