Majority of Parents Say Their Children are Less Active Than Before Lockdown

More than two in three parents say they have seen their children’s physical activity levels decrease during lockdown, new research published ahead of schools reopening has found. The research, commissioned by children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust and conducted by YouGov, also found that only a minority of parents (21%) believe their children are currently active for at least the recommended average of 60 minutes every day.

The research among UK parents of children aged 18 and under was carried out in February 2021 by YouGov. It found:

  • 69% of parents believe that their children are less physically active now compared to a year ago, before the Coronavirus pandemic
  • When asked about their children’s activity levels,almost 4 in 5 parents (79%) reported that their children were currently doing less than 60 minutes every day
  • Four in five parents (81%) now believe that schools should be ensuring that pupils are physically active for at least 30 minutes every day while in school, with similar numbers (78%) calling for schools to provide at least two hours per week of PE to every pupil. 

The research also found a lack of awareness among parents as to how much physical activity children should be doing. The Chief Medical Officer guidelines recommend that children should be doing an average of 60 minutes of physical activity every day, however only 38% of parents are aware of this target with 44% believing the target to be 30 minutes or less.

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Source: Youth Sport Trust