Press release from Active Cornwall

Children’s Activity levels are on the rise in Cornwall

  • Just over half of children in Cornwall now take part in an average of 60 minutes of physical activity a day – up 7% from last year to 50.8% (32,900 Children)
  • The rise is driven in Cornwall by children getting active inside and outside of school – 60.7% (increase of 1.8%) of children and young people do an average of 30 minutes or more a day outside of school, compared to 44.1% at school (an increase of 3%)
  • Significant inequalities remain in the areas of family affluence and gender.

Just over half of children in Cornwall now take part in an average of 60 minutes of physical activity a day – up 7% from last year to 50.8%. This finding comes from Sport England’s ‘Active Lives Children and Young People’ report into the activity levels of the nation’s children and means that 32,900 children in Cornwall are now meeting the new recommended Chief Medical Officer Guidelines – 4,600 more children than last year.

Government guidelines recommend that children and young people should get 30 minutes of their daily physical activity in the school day and 30 minutes outside of school. The figures show that there has been a rise in children getting active both outside and inside of school over the last year, with 60.7% (up 1.8%) doing an average of 30 minutes or more a day outside of school, compared to 44.1% at school (up 3%).

As part of Sport England’s 2016-21 strategy Towards an Active Nation, Sport England is already investing £194m in children and young people and over £250,000 in Cornwall over the past 12 months through Active Cornwall, within its remit of responsibility for sport and physical activity outside of school from the age of 5. This has included a complete refocus of the Cornwall School Games to engage young people that don’t normally get the opportunity to represent their school and a Satellite Club Programme bridging the gap between school and community activity.

Tim Marrion Children, Young People and Families Manager at Active Cornwall commented: “These results are great to see and demonstrated a good direction of travel as we aim for all young people in Cornwall to do an average of 60 minutes a day of activity over a week. They also demonstrate a positive response from all partners working and volunteering in this sector to give children a positive experience of activity and even though we all have lots more work to do they deserve a huge pat on the back.”

The inequalities remain though, with children from the most affluent families more active (54%) compared to the least affluent families (42%) while boys are more active than girls at every age from five up.

The survey also shows that active children are happier, more resilient and more trusting of others and it has also shown a positive association between being active and higher levels of mental wellbeing, individual development and community development.

Richard Higginson from Tretherras School in Newquay and also the Chair of the Cornwall Strategic School Sport Alliance said: “The work of the Strategic Alliance in Cornwall is to help set the direction and priorities of the sector to improve the lives of children through living an active life. These recent results and the insight that comes with them help us and the partners round the table to prioritise resource and hopefully make a difference. Hearing that an additional 4,600 children are achieving the recommended levels is great to hear and outlines the task ahead to engage with the 30,900 not achieving the recommended levels.”

Active Lives Children and Young People provides the most comprehensive overview of the sport and physical activity habits of children in England. It looks at the number of children taking part in a wide range of sport and physical activities (ranging from dance and scooting to active play and team sports) at moderate intensity, both at school and out of school. The report is based on responses from over 130,000 children (1,082 in Cornwall) aged 5-16 during the academic year 2018/2019, making it the largest study of its kind.


The full Active Lives Children and Young People report is available on the Sport England website, and for more information please contact Tim Marrion at Active Cornwall on tim.marrion@cornwall.gov.uk