Children’s activity levels are dropping, according to research, which is believed to be as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Sport England’s latest Active Lives Children and Young People Survey* has revealed that during the 2019/2020 academic year, 44.9 per cent of children and young people (3.2 million) met the Chief Medical Officer guidelines of taking part in sport and physical activity for an average of 60 minutes or more a day.
This represents a decrease of 1.9 per cent (86,500) compared to the same period 12 months ago, although activity levels do remain higher than in 2017/18.
The research shows that 31.3 per cent did less than an average of 30 minutes a day, with an increase of 2.4 per cent in the number of young people who were less active over the last year.
The survey showed activity levels were increasing during the autumn term (2019) and the overall drop over the academic year was due to disruption caused by the storms in the spring term and the impact of the pandemic across the summer term.
The good news
However, thankfully it’s not all doom and gloom as the survey also showed that thanks to the dedication and resourcefulness of parents, teachers, coaches and organisations who deliver activities, the drop during the period between mid-May and late-July when restrictions started to ease was significantly less than it was for adults earlier in the pandemic.
It also revealed that young people were finding other ways to keep active through the pandemic; taking part in more informal outdoor activities such as walking and cycling.
The importance of keeping active
We all know how important it is for young people to take part in physical activity - not only from a fitness point of view but also for the wellbeing and social benefits - and that enjoying
physical activity from a young age can lead to healthy habits into adulthood.
And while it’s clear to see that places such as schools and activity clubs have a vital role to play in keeping children active, with kids currently spending more time at home and with some of their usual activities put on hold, what can be done to ensure they are still meeting their required activity levels?
Activities for the whole family
If you’re wondering what you can do to help to increase your children’s activity levels, why not start by thinking about what you could do together as a family?
One option to get the whole household enjoying something active is to head outside at lunchtime or during the weekend for a walk or cycle around your local area.
If you have the space, you could also get moving together in your garden with a mini activity circuit or team game.
It’s also worth having a look at the resources available online, such as Joe Wicks’ kids’ PE sessions, which are available on The Body Coach’s YouTube channel.
1Life’s Wellbeats on demand fitness sessions also have online virtual workouts for all ages; including some dedicated programmes for kids.
Visit https://www.1life.co.uk/join-now/ and select 1Life Plus options to find out more and sign up.
Here at 1Life, we want to help and inspire families to find new ways to get active and enjoy the benefits of physical activity together.
Although our centres may be closed at the moment, visit www.1life.co.uk to find out more about our offering for young people - including swimming lessons and kids’ activity camps - ready for when we can welcome you back.