Promoting Sport & Physical Activity

Sports equipment

The Active Lives Children and Young People Survey 2017/18, carried out nationally, asked children aged between five and 16 years old about how much physical activity they take part in, both in and out of school. You can download Active Sussex’s full report here or browse the Sussex results by local authority below. Sport England’s detailed national report is available here and a detailed report on children’s attitudes towards sport and physical activity is available here.

The Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines count children doing more than 60 minutes of activity a day, but not every day a week, as ‘Active across the week’ whereas those who do between 30 and 59 minutes a day are counted as ‘Fairly active’ and children doing less than 30 minutes a day are counted as ‘Less active’.

Results showed that:

  • 47% of children and young people in Sussex lead active lives, compared with 43% nationally. This equates to 92,900 children and young people.
  • 22% of children and young people in Sussex (43,200) are fairly active.
  • 31% of children and young people in Sussex (60,000) are less active, slightly lower than the national average.

Wealden had the highest proportion of ‘less active’ children and young people at 39.5%, equivalent to 6,800 less active children and young people in the district and a higher rate than the national average (32.9%).

Eastbourne, Arun and Worthing all had a higher proportion of ‘less active’ children and young people than the national average. Hastings, Adur, Horsham and Mid Sussex had significantly lower proportions of less active children and young people than the national average.

4,691 children and young people responded to the survey in Sussex. Around 80 schools are randomly selected each term to complete the survey. Around half of the schools selected have completed the survey each term. Schools which complete the survey receive a bespoke report with a breakdown of activity levels in their school.

Activity rates at school

Government guidelines say that children and young people should get 30 minutes of their daily physical activity at school and 30 minutes outside of school. Only 41% of children and young people in Sussex are active every day, or on average for 30 minutes per day at school in Sussex. The majority (59%) of children and young people in Sussex do an average of less than 30 minutes a day of activity in school. This lack of activity at school is highest in Years 3-4 and lowest in Years 7-8. Primary schools have higher reported inactivity at school than secondary schools.

Activity rates outside of school

56% of children and young people in Sussex are active every day or on average for 30 minutes per day outside of school.  This is a little higher than the national average (53%) and the South East average (54%). 44% of children and young people in Sussex are active for less than 30 minutes on average per day outside of schools. This is slightly lower than the national average (47%) and South East average (46%).

Years 1-2 were reported to be the most active outside of school, while Years 3-4 and 9-11 were the least active. While activity levels outside of school were higher in Sussex than nationally, they followed the same pattern across year groups. Secondary school students have higher reported inactivity outside of school than primary school students.

Activity rate by Primary/Secondary

Half of primary school children in Sussex were active every day, or active across the week. This was slightly higher than the average for the South East. One in four primary school children were active for less than 30 minutes per day on average.

44% of secondary school students in Sussex were active every day, or active across the week. Again this was slightly higher than the average for the South East, but there does seem to be a fall in activity between primary and secondary school. One in three secondary school students were active for less than an average of 30 minutes a day.

For more information please contact:

Henry McLaughlin

Henry McLaughlin

Insight Officer

01273 643838

Henry analyses activity data to provide Active Sussex and partners with the insight needed to help people become more active.