Children’s activity levels revealed in survey

11th December 2018

Children’s activity levels revealed in survey

The latest research has revealed for the first time how active children are.

The largest survey of its kind, the Active Lives Children and Young People study has revealed that around three million (43.3%) of 5-16-year olds lead active lives, doing an average of 60 or more minutes of physical activity a day.

Among active children, only 1.2m (17.5%) are meeting the guideline of 60+ minutes of activity a day, every day of the week.

The findings, published by Sport England today, also reveals the challenges the countries face to help get the nation’s children more active.

The results found that over 2.3 million children and young people (32.9%) are less active which means they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day. While some are classed as fairly active, doing 30-59 minutes of physical activity a day.

The study dug deeper to find that children from more affluent families are more active than those in the least affluent families.

It also found that there is not a lot of difference between the amount of sport and physical activity that takes place inside school, compared to activity levels outside of school, highlighting that both activities in and out of school have a key role to play in getting young people on the move.

Chief executive of Sport England Tim Hollingsworth commented:

“Parents, schools, the sport and leisure industry and government all have a role to play in addressing and increasing childhood activity. This research is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and is a big wake-up call for all of us. We all care about the health and wellbeing of our children. These results tell us that what is currently being done to support them is not enough and change is required.  

“I am 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. Our children deserve better and Sport England is determined to play its part.”  

Volleyball for young people

Volleyball is a brilliant way for young people to be active and Volleyball England is working with members to help develop more opportunities for young people in the sport.

Membership for junior and school clubs has been discounted to free for the 2018/19 season so more clubs can access the great benefits of membership, which includes complimentary insurance, free DBS checks and access to discounts on equipment and gear, as well as eligibility to enter junior competitions.

The National Junior Championships are a great opportunity for young players of all abilities to enjoy competitive volleyball in a fun atmosphere. The early rounds are open to novice teams and see teams play multiple matches in the venue closest to them, while the best teams will go far in the competitions which often feature the best junior talent in the country.

For this season, over 130 junior teams have entered the National Championships, which are played at three age groups of under 15, under 16 and under 18. This will see over an estimated 1500 junior players taking part in the championships.

Discounting junior membership to free is more than just about welcoming more clubs to take advantage of the excellent benefits. Volleyball England wants to reach out to those people who are passionate about and deliver junior volleyball to work together to develop more opportunities for young people.

As explored in the feature ‘Junior Membership: Why it’s free’ feature, the idea to reduce the membership was the idea of Volleyball England chair Adam Walker after the board had listened to feedback from the membership which suggested more could be done to support junior volleyball. In the article, board member Freda Bussey underlined her desire to see more volleyball played in schools.

Since the membership was fully discounted, the Children and Young People Working Group lead Nick Shaffery organised a junior development workshop, which saw anyone interested in young people playing the sport welcome to come along and share ideas about how to get more young people enjoying the sport.

The workshop saw action groups set up to work on three key developments for junior development. The Game Formats group will look to develop and standardise game format to enable children to take part in competitions which are at their stage of development. 

The resources group will audit the resources available through Volleyball England and the wider community to plan and develop a toolkit that will enable the delivery of volleyball to juniors. The network and communication group is reviewing why communications with the key people involved in junior volleyball is not as effective as it could be. It will look to build better channels of communication to share good practice and link organisations together.

Junior volleyball helps get lots of children active and there is certainly the possibility for more young people to enjoy the sport. 

Children’s activity levels revealed in survey