Six in ten children and young people in Greater Manchester are not active enough. 35.8% of children and young people, on average, do less than 30 minutes of activity each day, with only 39.9% doing at least 60 minutes or more.

These figures are worryingly low.

Keeping active is a healthy habit that begins in childhood. The Chief Medical Officer recommends that children and young people do at least an hour’s activity every day: 30 minutes in school and 30 minutes outside of school.

At GreaterSport, we’ve learnt that our Greater Manchester region isn’t meeting these recommended targets. In fact, we’re falling significantly short. But, by working together, we know that can change.

How active are our children at home?

49.3% of children and young people in Greater Manchester are active for an average of 30 minutes per day outside of school. That’s less than half of our region’s youngest people meeting the recommended daily activity targets.

Something has to change.

Outside school hours, there’s a wide difference in activity levels across our boroughs. In Bolton, 59.1% of children and young people achieve an average of 30 minutes of activity per day, and 48.5% spend 60 minutes each day keeping active.

However, in Tameside and Bury, for example, less than a third of children and young people meet the 30 minutes daily target. And, in Oldham, whilst 45.3% are active for 30 minutes per day, only 30% are active for an hour. Tameside and Manchester don’t even have enough 60 minute activity data to produce results.

There are many reasons for this inactivity: indoor screen time, little outdoor space, and limited ideas of things to do. However, at GreaterSport, we know what we can do to increase activity levels. But we need your support.

What’s happening in our schools?

In schools, activity figures are even lower. In Greater Manchester, all boroughs have fallen short of our 60 minute overall daily target: less than half of children and young people in all boroughs are achieving an average of 30 active minutes per day at school.

Those statistics are much lower than the national recommendation.

On average, only just over a quarter of children and young people (25.8%) do 30 minutes of activity per day in school hours. In Trafford, almost half meet the target (46.6%), but in Manchester the figure falls short at only 22.8%.

At GreaterSport, we know we have a responsibility to get children and young people active during the school day.

How do activity levels vary?

It is not only between the boroughs of Greater Manchester that activity levels differ, family affluence and ethnicity both see noticeable differences in activity levels.

Over half of children and young people from the most affluent families (53.5%) are active enough for their health compared to just over one third of those from lowest levels of affluence (34.6%). This amounts to an 18.9 percentage point difference between these groups, whilst at a national level the difference is 12.4 percentage points.

Meanwhile, there is a marked difference between ethnic groups with 7 in 10 (71.4%) from black ethnic groups not active enough for their health. The picture for those from a Mixed background is better, however, over half (55.6%) are not achieving an average of 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

How can you help?

There are so many ways we can encourage children and young people to start, and stay, active. From sports event days and coaching sessions to wellbeing workshops, we know what activities work in and out of school. But, to implement them, we need your help.

Getting Greater Manchester moving starts with our children and young people. Talk to us today and, together, we’ll start making a difference.

The video below provides an overview of the survey and the findings for Greater Manchester.