Sport England study puts focus on PE and exercise


Just one in six children complete the recommended total of exercise on a daily basis, according to new figures from Sport England.

The study puts an emphasis on physical education in schools, as just 17.5% of children aged between five and 16 complete an hour of exercise every day.

In addition, a further 25.7% if children fail to meet the daily threshold as despite completing enough exercise in a week, they fail to exercise every day.

Around 2.3 million children exercise for less than 30 minutes per day on average, despite Sport England’s definition of exercise including activities such as walking, cycling and sport.

‘A big wake-up call’

Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth has said the figures highlight the size of the challenge when it comes to making children more active.

“Parents, schools, the sport and leisure industry and government all have a role to play in addressing and increasing childhood activity,” he said.

“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.”

More than 130,000 school children from across England took part in the study during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Working towards an active nation

Sports minister Mims Davies said that although three million children do meet the recommended hour of exercise on a daily basis, the number who do not is “simply unacceptable”.

“Together with the sports sector, parents and our local communities, we must build a comprehensive and cross-government offer to create a truly active nation,” she added.

Children from more affluent backgrounds were also more likely to be active than their peers from less affluent households.

For schools, this puts an emphasis on providing physical education to a degree where all pupils can benefit, be that through lesson time or after school clubs.