Children exercising far less than their parents imagine

Children in the UK are physically active for barely half the 60 minutes a day needed to keep them fit and healthy.

At the same time, their parents wildly overestimate the amount of time their offspring spend taking exercise.

These are the findings of a study by the University of Worcester’s institute of sport and exercise science published to coincide with National Childhood Obesity Week.

The study, although small in scale, concurs with earlier research on just how active children really are, as opposed to what they and their parents believe to be the case.

The study revealed that on average, children spend only 33 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a
day and that their main leisure activities were entirely sedentary.

They watched television on average for 67 minutes a day, sat down to play computer games for 21 minutes a day, and surfed the internet for a further 17 minutes.

Meanwhile their optimistic parents believed their children spent as much as 295 active minutes a day in the summer months – almost nine times the amount they actually achieved!

The study was carried out for the anti-obesity campaign Change4Life and Mend, the healthy lifestyle organisation.

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