Research gives insight into children’s attitudes to sport and physical activity

Enjoyment is the single biggest factor in motivating children to be active, new analysis from Sport England’s Active Lives Children and Young People Survey has revealed.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. The results also reveal important inequalities among certain groups of children including girls, children from less affluent families and black children.

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