Less than half parents polled are aware physical activity can boost self-confidence in kids

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16th July 2019 15:59 - Sport, Leisure and Tourism

Less than half parents polled are aware physical activity can boost self-confidence in kids: A survey looking at attitudes towards physical activity - for Change4Life and Disney UK - has revealed that less than half (49%) parents in England are aware that their children can improve self-confidence through taking part in physical activity. A similar number (48%) were also unaware that physical activity can reduce anxiety as well as improve their self esteem (47%).

The poll of 1017 parents and 535 children (aged 5-ll years) also revealed that just 16% believe physical activity can help children develop attributes that will help them in other areas of their lives, and perhaps, handle any challenging parts better. 

As part of the new Change4Life campaign to encourage children to engage in daily activities such as walking or scooting to stay healthy, children were asked about their thoughts around what being physically active actually means. Almost half (49%) thought that being physically active meant being ‘fast’, while four in ten (41%) thought that it means being ‘strong’. Only a quarter of children surveyed considered themselves to be ‘sporty’. 

Children should be engaging in a minumum of an hour of physical activity (classed as 'moderate to vigorous') each day, according to the UK Chief Medical Officer. And while 95% of kids polled said they enjoy physical activity, just a fifth of boys (20%) and 14% of girls are currently achieving this recommendation. 

Looking at what might inspire children to engage in more physical activity, almost two-thirds (64%) said that seeing their favourite character being active would motivate them to follow in their footsteps. The majority of parents (82%) said that if the activity was ‘fun’ 82% their children would be more likely to want to participate, with 61% of kids polled saying the same.

Eustace de Sousa, National Lead for Children, Young People and Families, Public Health England (PHE) says:

“Across England, children’s physical activity levels are worryingly low, with only a fifth of boys meeting the guidelines and an even smaller number of girls. We must combat this or risk facing a generation of inactive children who won’t experience the wide health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity."

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