kids playing football

Sport England has just released findings from it Active Lives Children and Young People, the research gives insight into children's attitudes to sport and physical activity. New analysis uncovers five key findings about children and young people's motivations towards getting active. Enjoyment is the single biggest factor in motivating children to be active, the new analysis from our Active Lives Children and Young People Survey has revealed.

This new analysis has identified five key findings that give us further insight into the attitudes of children and young people towards sport and physical activity.

  • Physically literate children do twice as much activity. The more of the five elements of physical literacy - enjoyment, confidence, competence, understanding and knowledge - children have, the more active they are.
  • Enjoyment is the biggest driver of activity levels. Despite the majority of children (68%) understanding that sport and activity is good for them, understanding had the least impact on activity levels.
  • Children who have all five elements of physically literacy report higher levels of happiness, are more trusting of other children, and report higher levels of resilience (continuing to try if you find something difficult).
  • Physical literacy decreases with age. As children grow older, they report lower levels of enjoyment, confidence, competence, and understanding.
    Previous research from Sport England shows that activity levels drop when children reach their teenage years.
  • The results also reveal important inequalities among certain groups of children which must be tackled. 

 Jane Ashworth CEO, StreetGames commented, "Interesting data around attitudes towards sport and physical activity, particularly around the importance of ‘physical literacy’ for young people.  The survey results chime strongly with StreetGames and our expertise and experience in building what we call ‘activity know-how'. Through investment from Sport England and others, organisations within the StreetGames network are working hard to address this – by bringing fun and friendly sporting opportunities to the doorstep of young people living in disadvantaged areas, with opportunities to: try different activities, go to different places, meet new people and spectate at live sports events all of which can help to grow their activity know-how."

 Active Lives survey data continues to highlight the disparities which exist in activity levels amongst children and young people by social class:

  • Only 15% of children and young people from low income families are active every day, whilst 39% are in the ‘low activity’ category. 
  • 22% of children and young people from high income families are active every day, whilst 26% are in the ‘low activity’ category


Read the full report and findings on Sport England's website here

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