Physical activity in children
This chapter reports on physical activity among children aged 2-15. As well as looking at frequency and duration, it compares activity levels with 2008 and against current age-specific guidelines.
- Only 9% of boys and 10% of girls aged under 5 met the guidelines of at least three hours of physical activity per day.
- A higher proportion of boys than girls aged 5-15, 21% and 16% respectively, met guidelines of at least one hour of moderately intensive physical activity per day.
- Among both sexes, the proportion meeting guidelines was lower in older children than in adults.
- Overall, 93% of boys and 92% of girls had participated in some type of physical activity in the last week.
Walking to school
- 41% of boys and 44% of girls walked to and from school every day. On average, children spent 1.1 hours walking to and from school in the last week.
Formal and informal activity
- Nearly half of boys, 48%, were more likely than girls, 38%, to have participated in formal sports on at least one occasion in the last week.
- Boys averaged more days of participation in informal activities in the last week, 4.0 days, than girls, 3.8 days.
- Excluding time at school, the average total sedentary time for boys and girls was similar during the week, 3.3 hours and 3.2 hours respectively.
- Among children aged 2-10, the mean number of sedentary hours on a typical weekday decreased between 2008 and 2012.
- The average time per weekday spent watching TV increased steadily with age in boys, however the increase among girls was much steeper.
- For both boys and girls, the average number of hours spent watching TV on both weekdays and weekend days increased with household income.