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80% Of Children Not Reaching Activity Goal

Only 18% of Jersey's children and young people are doing the recommended amount of daily physical activity.

It's suggested that under 18s should be hitting 60 minutes of exercise daily, but many of Jersey's children do not seem to be reaching this goal.

Fewer than 1 in 5 do the required amount to stay fit and healthy, and 6% fewer girls than boys hit the target.

This health baseline is recommended as it is thought to help with academic performance, brain health, muscular fitness, heart and lung strength, long-term health and bone strength.

Playing in team sports also helps children develop social skills, like self-motivation, teamwork and communication.

However, girls in Jersey are 8% less likely to play sports.

Dan Garton, Community Programme Officer at Jersey Sport says there are a range of reasons as to why this happens.

"We're obviously in a cost of living crisis at the moment so nothing comes cheap.

We've also get a lot of pressures within children themselves where they're attending school and colleges, all of these different types of things.

Having that excess burden of exams, college work, all these different things, that the one thing that kind of gets missed out and bypassed is physical activity, so you can kind of see there are some correlations between that."

Children who rate themselves as 'not well off' are 30% less likely to play sports than those who are 'well off'.

The island's rate of inflation is at its highest rate since the 1980s, meaning many parents in the island are having to cut costs, which may include clubs.

Jersey Sports offers free Toddler Play sessions for infants up to the age of 5 so they can crawl, play and socialise as they have missed out on important social skills due to the pandemic.

It also runs activity camps during school holidays, and works in schools to help address low activity levels and inspire a love of sports.

In 2022, 5443 children participated in our Toddler Play sessions and 1300 children attended Jersey Sport's holiday activity camps.

Jersey Sport says it remains focused on providing more affordable and accessible opportunities across the island.

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