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Coronavirus challenges highlight importance of physical activity and sport for children

Sport England’s latest Active Lives Children and Young People Survey report evidences the benefits on mental health and loneliness. Existing inequalities have widened, and new issues have arisen with boys losing active habits.

Children and young people’s activity levels continue to be negatively impacted by the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic at a time when getting active is more important than ever for their mental and physical wellbeing.

The publication shows that while there’s been no overall decrease in activity levels compared to the previous academic year, existing inequalities have widened while enjoyment and confidence in taking part are down, and there are new short-term issues that need to be considered so they don’t become long-term trends.

Positively, the results provide further evidence that active children have higher levels of mental wellbeing and illustrate the role sport and physical activity can play in supporting them amid rising levels of loneliness and declining mental health during the pandemic.