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Response to Active Lives Children and Young People survey

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Posted 6th December 2018

The Active Lives Children and Young People Survey shows that around 3 million children (43.3%) lead active lives, however of that group, only 1.2 million (17.5%) are meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of more than 60 minutes of activity a day, every day of the week. 


  • 17.5% of Children and young people are meeting guidelines of being active for 60 minutes every day
  • 9% do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day
  • Those that are active every day are more likely to be happy  
  • Least active kids are in years 9-11. This age group are also the least happy and least resilient.
  • Girls are less active than boys
  • Children from poorer families are less likely to be active

Yorkshire Sport Foundation CEO, Nigel Harrison, said: “For some time our work has shown us that not enough children and young people in Yorkshire are physically active in their day-to-day lives. These figures are giving us a better picture of the challenge.  

“We’ve already seen the knock-on effect on physical health through, for example, rising obesity levels. But it’s not just that. It’s about the all-round health and wellbeing that contributes to good behaviour, better educational attainment and raising aspirations. 

“There is no single reason why some children aren’t doing something that is natural for them to do. Often it is too easy to sit for long period of times; there may be safety concerns about playing outside or they don’t have the confidence to take part.   

“Now is the time for everyone to consider what part they can play in ensuring our next generation is a happy, active and healthy one.   

“We’re not starting from scratch. There are many excellent schools that place physical activity at the core of what they do. A huge number of organised sports, dance, and other clubs offer a variety of opportunities often by dedicated volunteers; and many families see the benefit of spending time outdoors with their children.   

“We all need to work together to ensure this becomes the norm for every child across South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.” 

These are the first figures for Children and Young People released by Sport England from the new Active Lives survey. The study is designed to provide a world-leading approach to gathering data on how children engage with and take part in sport and physical activity. 

The figures give anyone working with children aged 5-16 the insight to help understand children’s attitudes and behaviours around sport and physical activity. 

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