Active Lives Children and Young People Survey

Sport England's Active Lives Children and Young People summaries the activity levels of children and young people (aged 5-16) in England from September 2019 to July 2020. The sample size was just under 100,000; the survey for 2018/19 was larger and included over 130,000 responses.

The response rate was lower for 2019/20 due to the coronavirus pandemic impacting response rates primarily during the summer term. Sample sizes were therefore less reliable and many areas had missing terms or school phases so local authority data has not been included in this years report.

As with the adult survey, this allows us to see how active children in Berkshire are compared to the rest of the country and how they change each year. It breaks activity levels down into three categories; active (an average of at least 60 minutes a day), fairly active (an average of 30-59 minutes a day) and less active (less than an average of 30 minutes a day).

Two reports have been undertaken this year, one covering the whole academic year and another focusing on the impact of the pandemic.

Headline results over the academic year as a whole:

  • 3.2 million (44.9%) children and young people are active and therefore meeting the new Chief Medical Officer guidelines.
  • The number reporting they were active has decreased by 1.9% over the past 12 months (a decrease of 86,500 active children and young people in England).
  • 1.7 million (23.8%) are fairly active taking part in average of 30-59 minutes a day.
  • 2.3 million (31.3%) are less active; an increase of 2.4% in the proportion reporting they are less active compared with 12 months ago (an additional 201,400 children and young people).
  • In Berkshire the rate of activity is lower than the England rate at 41.8%.

Impact of the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Fewer children and young people were active during the summer term than in 2019. The proportion of children and young people reporting they were active during mid-May to late-July (the summer term) fell by 2.3%, with just over 100,000 fewer children meeting the recommended level of activity compared to the same period 12 months earlier.
  • Walking, cycling and fitness all saw large increases in the numbers reporting they took part in the last week compared to the same period 12 months earlier. 1.6m more children and young people went for a walk (+22.2%) or did fitness activities (+22.1%) whilst 1.4m more cycled for fun or fitness (+18.4%).

The infographic above also highlights some demographic differences. Adult physical activity habits often develop in childhood, which is why it is vital that more children get more active in Berkshire and Get Berkshire Active is working towards increase physical activity levels for children across Berkshire. For more information on the survey and for full results please visit Sport England's website to find out about the child and adult surveys.

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