Data from the first Active Lives Children and Young People Survey, conducted by Sport England, has today shown that 43% of children in London do an average of more than 60 minutes of physical activity a day – in-line with figures from across the country.
Young Londoners are less likely than their national counterparts, however, to meet Chief Medical Officer guidelines of more than 60 minutes of physical activity every day of the week, with only 16.8% of children and young people in school years 1-11 in London meeting the full recommendations. More worryingly, like their national counterparts, 33% of young Londoners do less than an average of 30 minutes’ physical activity a day.
The survey provides the first comprehensive picture of childhood physical activity levels across the country, with national data highlighting stark inequalities in activity levels based on family income, and on gender.
With evidence showing a significant range of positive impacts from participation in physical activity, from improved physical and mental wellbeing to enhanced individual development, the data clearly shows the importance of supporting more young Londoners to live physically active lives.
Commenting on the findings, Gary Palmer, London Sport’s Specialist Advisor – Children and Young People, said:
While it is encouraging that young Londoners are broadly as likely as other children and young people around the country to take part in physical activity, today’s findings show clearly that there are significant numbers of children in the capital who are failing to receive the benefits of living an active life.
If we are to give this and future generations of young Londoners the best opportunities in life, supporting them to be more physically active is critical. Crucially, it brings into focus the importance of working with every part of London society including schools, community groups, sport clubs, families and all groups that have the potential to support young people to be active in every facet of their lives.
This research must act as a rallying cry to all parts of the capital to collectively build a future where every young Londoner can lead more physically active lives.
This data will be followed in March with additional Sport England research into the attitudes of children to sport and activity.
For more information and full results from the first Active Lives Children and Young People Survey, click here
For more information on London Sport’s work with Children and Young People, click here