Active Lives Children and Young People Survey

The Government’s Sporting Future strategy identified that: “Opportunity for children to take part in and develop a love of sport and physical activity is vital to ensuring their long-term enjoyment and participation.” Enjoying sport and physical activity makes the biggest difference to activity levels. It is well understood that increasing activity levels will make an important contribution to improved physical wellbeing. The Youth Sport Trust suggest three main drivers for young people’s engagement with physical activity are fun, friendship and freedom and this is certainly something that Super Stars Enfield sessions promote.

The Chief Medical Officer recommends children should be active for 60 minutes or more every day. Moderate physical activity is defined as activity where you raise your heart rate and feel a little out of breath (children were asked whether it made them breathe faster). Let’s take a closer look at this with thanks to Sport England, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education as well as the network of Active Partnerships.

Sport England released the second part of their Active Lives Children and Young People Survey on 21st March 2019. The survey was conducted across England for children and young people in school Years 1-11 (age 5-16) in the Academic Year 2017/2018. Below I have summarised some of the data available for Enfield and nearby Boroughs.

Local Authorities

Academic Year 2017/18

Active every day

(60mins or more every day)

Active across the week

(average of 60 mins or more but not every day)

Fairly active

(an average of 30-59 mins a day)

Less active

(less than an average of 30 mins a day)

Enfield 16.8% 24.9% 26.7% 31.7%
Haringey 18.9% 22.6% 20.1% 38.4%
Barnet 17.6% 24.1% 21% 37.2%
England 17.5% 25.7% 23.9% 32.9%

The Enfield data reflects the results found across England with a slightly higher percentage of ‘fairly active’ respondents. Haringey had a higher percentage of children who were ‘active every day’ meeting the Medical Officer’s guidelines of 60 minutes or more per day. However, they also had the highest percentage of ‘less active’ children with under 30 minutes of moderate activity per day. Haringey had a larger sample of 461 compared to Enfield’s 260 and Barnet’s 240.

Responding to Sport England’s Active Lives Children and Young People research, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust Ali Oliver said:

“This important research from Sport England reinforces the importance of getting PE and school sport right for all young people. The cuts to curriculum time for physical education in secondary schools have now translated into less after school sport as well. Too many young people are therefore missing out on the life changing benefits of PE and sport either because provision is being squeezed or because of an outdated curriculum and after school offer that fail to prioritise physical literacy and enjoyment.”

Physical literacy has five elements – enjoyment, confidence, competence, understanding and knowledge. The more elements present, the more active a child or young person is likely to be. If you would like further information please refer to the full report https://www.sportengland.org/media/13851/active-lives-children-survey-2017-18-attitudes-report.pdf


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