Schools plays key role in improving children’s activity

The reopening of schools presents a hugely important moment to help the nation’s children to increase how much sport and physical activity they are doing, says Sport England.

Last year, 46.8% (3.3 million) of children in England were meeting CMO guidelines of an average of 60 minutes per day across a week but during lockdown, with schools closed and fewer opportunities to use facilities and play formal sport, these figures dropped significantly.  

Activity levels fell from just under half (46.8%) to less than a fifth (19%) of children meeting the recommended guidelines, while a third of children told Sport England that the absence of school during the height of the pandemic had a major impact on their ability to be active.  

The research also showed that teen girls, Black, Asian and poorer children are relying more than others on ‘at school’ provision to be physically active in their everyday lives.

“We want children to develop a healthy relationship with sport and physical activity and build habits that will benefit them throughout their lives. School plays a hugely important role in this and large numbers of children tell us that not being at school has negatively impacted on their ability to get active,” said Sport England CEO, Tim Hollingsworth. 

“We know that both parents and teachers are under pressure in so many areas right now, but our message would be that their role is absolutely vital in supporting our children to be more active and in turn healthier and more resilient. Whether that’s encouraging children to walk or cycle to school safely, making break times and lessons active or delivering PE sessions that children want and enjoy, it all counts.”  

Related Stories
the physical activity facilities forum goes VIRTUAL
We will be hosting our annual physical activity facilities forum this year virtually due to COVID restrictions. New date of 18-19 November. The forum will take place over two mornings 9.30-12.30 and will be a mix of seminars; networking in lounge area and the opportunity of having online pre-selected meetings with suppliers and project delegates using an exclusively developed platform. The platform is really interactive and unique to the leisure industry. We look forward to getting back to meetings again
ukactive launches the Great British Week of Sport
ukactive has launched the first edition of the Great British Week of Sport, celebrating the power that sport and activity has on physical, mental and social wellbeing.
Injecting the magic of theme parks into leisure facility design
Wales’ longest zip wire safari, a double zip wire and an adventure zone with a large splash pad are some of the attractions proposed for Margam Country Park.
Parkrun set to return in England at the end of October
The mass-participation event plans to resume its parkrun events in England towards the end of October after receiving the green light from government.
New toolkit to boost physical activity despite coronavirus
Sport England has launched an Autumn and Winter Activity Toolkit to help sports and physical activity providers to assist more people to stay active over the next six months.