New research has revealed that only 18% of children are doing physical activity every day.
The figures - published by Premier Sport - also show that three in five parents believe their child is not doing enough and 61% are worried about obesity levels in their children.
According to the research, 85% of parents think their children would benefit from more education around fitness and half of parents agree that children should be properly fitness tested in schools.
Other key national findings from the nationwide study of 1,000 parents show:
· 50% of parents suggest their children should be properly tested in school;
· a quarter of parents admit they’re in the dark when it comes to knowing what physical activity their children’s school offer;
· three quarters of our children don’t even do 1 hour a day of exercise;
· a third of parents struggle to keep their children active.
Commenting on the worrying statistics, Olympic gold medallist and Premier Sport ambassador, Duncan Goodhew, said: “It doesn’t seem right that we regularly measure numeracy and literacy skills in school children but we don’t regularly measure something that could potentially kill them! This has to change if we’re to curb the alarming rates of inactivity in our children.”
Addressing the concerns of the nation’s parents and their suggestion that the need for physical activity can begin at school, Premier Sport and ukactive joined forces to launch the ‘My Personal Best’ initiative, comprising of four fitness measures throughout the school year, with the aim of identifying periods when children become most inactive.
Based on evidence from the programme, appropriate interventions are put in place to ensure children with the most need are targeted and any investment/impact can be measured, particularly for girls whose activity levels begin to drop from age seven, statistically continuing through their teenage years.
ukactive Chair Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, said: “We know that today’s youth are the least active generation ever, so it’s vital that we intensify our efforts to embed a minimum of one hour of physical activity into their daily routines.
“Central to this should be the nationwide rollout of fitness measurement programmes for primary school children that are conducted in a way that is fun and enjoyable for kids.
“Research we conducted with Premier Sport around the ‘My Personal Best’ initiative highlighted the importance of structured physical activity sessions both in and out of school. That’s why we’re also calling for funding from the government’s soft drinks levy to be used beyond the schools gates to ensure that physical activity sessions are accessible to children all-year-round.”
Chief Executive of Premier Sport, David Batch, said: “The research proves that there is a nationwide need for further education and investment in to our children’s fitness to create a year round approach to activity. Using meaningful and measurable interventions, in schools, to drive improvement will lead to a healthier understanding and natural step towards tackling underage obesity and inactivity.”