Suffolk ranks higher than national average for active children and young people
Posted: Wed, 13 Dec 2023 11:20
The latest Active Lives data released by Sport England, show children and young people in Suffolk to be more active than the national average.
The survey has reported that the number of children across the country achieving the Chief Medical Officer's recommended 60+ minutes of physical activity per day has remained the same at a level of 47%. There remains growth over the longer term, compared to academic year of 2017-18, with the proportion who are active having increased by 3.8%, meaning there are 424,000 more active children and young people compared to five years ago.
However, for Suffolk 50% of children across the county are now meeting the physical activity guidelines set by the Chief Medical Officer which is a hugely positive 6.8% increase on the baseline data gathered in 2017-18 and a 1.7% increase on last year's data, which while not incredibly significant does reflect the kind of growth/maintained status of children's physical activity levels that we have seen across the country as a whole.
In even better news, West Suffolk now reports that 55.1% of children and young people in their borough are classified as active, which is an incredibly significant increase of 12.5%% compared to the baseline figures taken in 2017/18, and a 9.2% increase compared to the last 12 months!
We at Active Suffolk are proud to be able to work closely with lots of our partner organisations throughout West Suffolk and on our own projects to help positively impact children and young people in the West Suffolk area. Projects such as our Active Schools Programme, an initiative run throughout West Suffolk to engage with schools to help them understand how to make meaningful and sustainable improvements to their PE, school sport and physical activity offering are key to being able to make sure that our educators are able to instil those healthy attitudes to physical activity within our young people that they can then take forward throughout the rest of their lives.
Gareth Davies, Director at Active Suffolk said: "The latest Active Lives, Children and Young People's Survey results released by Sport England have highlighted some wonderful positives for Suffolk.
They also demonstrate how effective the collective work conducted by Active Suffolk, and many partners and stakeholders, across the county has been at getting more children and young people active.
However, whilst it's positive that one in two children in Suffolk are now enjoying 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day, there is still more to be done. We must ensure that those children who don't meet the Chief Medical Officer's physical activity guidelines are able to do so and also that they understand the benefits of physical activity to long term health.
All children and young people deserve to be able to access a diverse and enjoyable physical activity offer and reap the benefits of living an active life. Physical activity delivers many positives for not only physical health, but also for supports mental wellbeing and social connection with others. Active Suffolk will continue to focus our efforts on ensuring that we are able to understand and remove barriers to participation and provide equitable access to varied and fulfilling physical activity and sport opportunities to children and adults alike."
Cllr Ian Shipp, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture at West Suffolk Council and Mayor of Mildenhall, which was recently named as Suffolk's most active town, said: "Encouraging our children and young people to be active is crucial. It supports their physical and their mental health and can also help them become healthier and happier adults as well.
As a district council we invest in and manage parks and play areas. We work alongside Abbeycroft to deliver a whole host of activities for all ages in our leisure centres. And we work in partnership to help achieve a range of other facilities including skate parks and pump tracks.
So, it's great to see that activity among children and young people across the district is increasing and it's a trend that we will be looking to continue."
To find out more information about the latest insight published by Sport England and how this relates to Active Suffolk, download our report here; children-and-young-people-active-lives-survey-academic-year-202223.pdf (activesuffolk.org)
To find out more information about the latest insight published by Sport England, visit Active Lives data tables | Sport England