More than half the school children in England are not doing enough exercise, reveals poll

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13th December 2019 13:55 - Sport, Leisure and Tourism

More than half the school children in England are not doing enough exercise: A major survey of more than 130,000 children in England has found that more than half are failing to undertake the recommended one hour of physical activity per day.

Less than half the five- 16 year-olds surveyed (46.8%) in the Sport England research said that they do at least an hour of exercise every day, which although is higher than in was in 2018 (43.2%), still leaves a large number falling short of the Government's recommended target.The survey found that almost a quarter (24.2%) are fairly active, yet are not undertaking the full 60 minutes (30 minutes at home and 30 minutes at school) advised. It also found that almost three in ten (29%) don't even manage half the recommended amount (30 minutes) of physical activity per day. 

When it comes to boys and girls, the research found that it is boys who do the most exercise (51% vs 43% respectively). There were also notable differences in the amount of exercise undertaken amongst the most and least affluent families. Whilse 54% of the children from the most affluent families were considered active, just 42% were from the least. 

When looking at exercise taken during the school day and that after, the research found that just one child out of four gets the 30 minutes recommended, whilst even more are not getting enough physical activity out of school hours - almost six in 10. 

In its report on the research Sport England said:

'The survey also shows that active children are happier, more resilient and more trusting of others.

'And it's also shown a positive association between being active and higher levels of mental wellbeing, individual development and community development.'

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