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Warning over inactivity among West Norfolk's kids

By Lynn News Reporter

More than two-fifths of children and young people in West Norfolk do less than half an hour of physical activity a day, according to new research.

The Active Lives Children and Young People survey, published by Sport England, estimates 6,600 children aged between five and 16 in the borough do an average of less than 30 minutes of exercise a day.

A further 4,200 manage an average of at least half an hour a day, but less than an hour.


The Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines state that children should get at least an hour of physical activity every day of the week. But the data suggests 87 per cent of five to 16-year-olds in West Norfolk do not hit this target.

The findings form part of a national survey based on responses from more than 100,000 children during the 2017-18 academic year.

Anything that raises your heart rate and makes you out of breath counts as physical activity - from organised team sports to playing outside.

It found that a third of children in England don’t manage an average of half an hour of activity a day, and less than 20 per cent met the Chief Medical Officer’s target of an hour every day.

Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth called the report “a big wake-up call for all of us”.

He said: “These results tell us that what is currently being done to support them is not enough and change is required.

“We know that lots of factors affect behaviour and there is no single answer to the problem; but listening to young people and what they want is the best starting point.”

Sports Minister Mims Davies said that the number of young people not doing enough exercise is “simply unacceptable”, but claimed a government action plan would help to address the issue.

She said: “We know that an active child is a happier child, and efforts must be stepped up to encourage young people to live healthy, active lives.

Government guidelines state that children and young people should get half their daily hour of physical activity at school, and half out of school.

Clubs and sports teams that take place outside school hours count as out of school activities, even if they are school-run.

But, in West Norfolk children were more likely to miss the target in school.

During school hours, 72 per cent of students said they were active for less than 30 minutes a day, compared to 59 per cent outside school.

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