Children in district are not active enough

More children in North Kesteven needing to be active. EMN-190701-144831001
More children in North Kesteven needing to be active. EMN-190701-144831001

A quarter of children and young people in North Kesteven 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, found that an estimated 3,600 children aged between five and 16 in North Kesteven do less than 30 minutes of exercise a day on average.

A further 4,300 manage an average of at least half an hour a day, but less than an hour. Anything that raises your heart rate and makes you out of breath counts.

The Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines state that children should get at least an hour of physical activity every day of the week - but 79 per cent of five to 16-year-olds in North Kesteven fail to hit this target.

The survey is based on responses from over 100,000 five to 16-year-olds during the academic year 2017-18.

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

In North Kesteven children were much more likely to miss the target in school with 69 per cent of students active less than 30 minutes a day, compared to 39 per cent outside school.

GP Dr Vindi Bhandal, senior partner with Sleaford Medical Group, said they want to work proactively within the community with sports clubs to combat the growing levels of diet-related diabetes within children.

“Otherwise we will be dealing reactively with the aftermath of the last 20 years,” she said.

They hope to develop a teenage forum to engage young people in their health and have launched a Park Run referral scheme with Sleaford Striders. They have also approached Sleaford Town Football Club to use the players as role models to encourage young people.

Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth said he was calling for system-wide change and said: “Parents, schools, the sport and leisure industry and Government all have a role to play in addressing and increasing childhood activity. Listening to young people and what they want is the best starting point.”