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Less than half of children are active enough

Less than half of children are active enough

Thursday 24 September 2020

Less than half of children are active enough


Only 44% of children in Guernsey are meeting current recommendations of 60 minutes of exercise a day – with girls only half as likely as boys meet the standard.

The statistic comes from the Guernsey Children Physical Activity Surveillance Study, the results of which have now been published. 302 children in years 4 and 6, from 6 different schools, wore an accelerometer for a week to record their physical activity.

Current guidelines suggest that children should be engaged in an average of 60 minutes of 'moderate-to-vigorous' physical activity each day; but only 48% of Year 4 pupils, and 40% of Year 6 pupils, were meeting that. In fact, only 49% of the children in the survey were accumulating 30 minutes.

While 66% of boys were meeting the recommendations, only 37% of girls were.

According to the Health Improvement Commission, who conducted the survey, the results highlight the need for ‘investment, commitment and action’ to ensure children are maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

girl_weightlift_exercise.jpg

Pictured: A survey from the Health Improvement Commission suggests that far fewer girls are meeting the daily recommendations for exercise than boys.

“The results clearly show that whilst some children are sufficiently active to get the mental, physical and social benefits being active brings, there is a need to increase the amount of activity that young people can access,” said Alun Williams, the ‘Be Active’ Lead for the Health Improvement Commission.

He says there are no ‘silver bullets’ to resolve the issue: “a wide range of strategies to empower and enable children to be active from a young age are needed, with particular focus on getting and keeping more girls active.”

Mr Williams suggests initiatives that encourage children to walk to school, implement more active lessons and higher quality PE sessions. He says collaborative action will be needed from schools, stakeholders, parents and organisations like the Sports Commission to implement appropriate strategies.

 

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