The Active Lives Children and Young People Survey, carried out nationally throughout the school year, asks children aged between five and 16 years old about how much physical activity they take part in, both in and out of school.
The 2021-22 Results showed that:
- 47% of children and young people in Sussex lead active lives, the same proportion as nationally.
- 32% of children and young people in Sussex are less active. This is slightly higher than the national average, which is a reversal on previous years.
Although on average national activity levels have returned to those seen pre-pandemic (48%), there are still many groups that vary from this trend.
- Activity levels were lowest for those in school Years 3-4 (ages 7-9) at 39%.
- Boys (50%) have higher activity rates than girls (45%). This varies with age.
- Those from low affluence families are the least likely to be active (42%).
- Children and young people with Black (41%), Asian (41%) and Other ethnicities (42%) are the least likely to be active.
- However, there has been a positive change in Activity levels among children and young people with a disability or long-term health condition, which are now the same as for those without one (48%).
4,451 children and young people responded to the survey in Sussex in 2021-22. This is lower than pre-pandemic figures. Around 80 schools are randomly selected each term to complete the survey. Schools which complete the survey receive a bespoke report with a breakdown of activity levels in their school, £100 of sports equipment, and are eligible to receive a Healthy Schools Rating.
Not all schools are asked to complete the survey, and some that are encouraged to do so do not prioritise the survey. This leads to very small sample sizes in the data, and responses are not entirely representative. In some local authorities, there is no data collected. This makes it impossible to compare changes at a local level, and over several years.
The Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines count children doing an average of 60+ minutes of activity a day across the week as ‘Active’. Those who do an average of between 30 and 59 minutes a day are counted as ‘Fairly active’ and children doing less than 30 minutes a day on average across the week are counted as ‘Less active’.
Unfortunately the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted survey collection in academic years 2019-20 and 2020-21 so local data is not always available for these years.
We have analysed the available local and national data to better help you understand the trends. This has been presented in a report that includes the adult findings. The Children and Young People section starts on page 45. Please find it here.
If you would like to read Sport England’s detailed national report, please find it here.