Summer holidays driving fitness inequalities among children, ukactive research says
Leisure Opportunities
Job search
Job Search
see all jobs
Latest job opportunities
star job
VOYA Products Ltd
Competitive
Europe
star job
Coach Gyms
£15k basic + commission + Bonus
Leeds, UK
Sefton Council
Band D (scp 5-6 £19,321 - £19,698)
Sefton, Liverpool, UK
Everyone Active
Unlimited earning potential
Camberwell Leisure Centre, London, UK
star job
Xercise4Less
Competitive
Rugby, UK

Summer holidays driving fitness inequalities among children, ukactive research says

Job opportunities
Sefton Council
Band D (scp 5-6 £19,321 - £19,698)
location: Sefton, Liverpool, UK
training opportunity
Les Mills
location: Nationwide, United Kingdom
more jobs

School summer holidays are creating a class divide between the fitness levels of deprived Children and their more affluent peers thanks to a lack of affordable physical activity offerings, research from ukactive has revealed.

Study findings – which were presented at the annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science in Germany last week – show how the poorest 25 per cent of primary schoolchildren experience a drop in their fitness levels 18 times greater than the richest 25 per cent over the school summer holiday.

The authors believe the prohibitive cost of school holiday activities, such as summer camps, means many of the poorest children are left inactive, putting them at much higher risk of diseases such as heart disease, cancer and type-II diabetes in later life.

These findings form the second part of a study from ukactive and children’s activity provider Premier Sport into physical activity among eight and nine-year-olds.

The research tracked the cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) levels of more than 400 children in 13 schools across the North West of England over a 13-month period. It is the first study of its kind to measure fitness levels both before and after the summer holidays.

Fitness levels of the most deprived children fell significantly during the summer holidays compared to their more affluent peers, meaning they were able to run far shorter distances before exhaustion in September than they could in June, while the fitness levels of the most affluent group dipped slightly but were relatively unaffected.

Last year, the first part of the research showed how fitness levels steadily improve throughout the school year but these gains were all but wiped out due to ‘lazy summer holidays’.

The latest findings, which are in peer review, have prompted the researchers to call for an overhaul of activity funding.

They say the UK government’s promised £415m (US$533.2m, €466.3m) of Sugar Tax funding for school sport should be used to support out-of-term exercise sessions and in-school fitness measurement to ensure children maintain active lifestyles during the summer break.

"There's a growing class divide around fitness levels due to the summer holidays and the government must urgently address these Victorian-style health inequalities to give every child a fair chance of a healthy start in life," said Dr Steven Mann, ukactive research director and lead author of the study.

“Our research with Premier Sport suggests deprived children are being plonked in front of screens for hours on end, while their more affluent peers are able to maintain their fitness levels through summer camps and other activities.”

David Batch, Premier Sport chief executive, said: “Whilst the money from the sugar tax levy is welcomed, we need to ensure the money is used by those in most need of intervention and that its impact can be measured. To do this effectively we first need to understand where individuals are now. Then we can implement appropriate interventions, to not only maximise the benefits to participants but also ensure any investment is being well spent and has the maximum impact.”

ukactive Kids – the dedicated children’s arm of the not-for-profit organisation – is working to embed greater levels of activity throughout the school day and at home through the launch of its 10 at 10 project.

The scheme, to begin on National Fitness Day (27 September), will see 10,000 schools take part in 10-minute bursts of activity at 10am, with the aim that these sessions become part of the school day and can be replicated at home during school holidays.

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
School summer holidays are creating a class divide between the fitness levels of deprived children and their more affluent peers thanks to a lack of affordable physical activity offerings, research from ukactive has revealed.
HAF
THUMB7992_40329.jpg

More News

1 - 15 of 43,107
26 Jan 2021
Sport England has vowed to tackle inequality and create a nation of "more equal, inclusive and connected communities" through physical activity. Revealing its 10-year strategy ... More
26 Jan 2021
The Donald Trump baby blimp, which was flown over London's Parliament Square in July 2018 during the then-US president's visit to the UK, has found ... More
26 Jan 2021
A museum charting the history of transport and motor vehicles is set to anchor a new tourism destination near Perth, Scotland. The museum, in West ... More
25 Jan 2021
Fitness instructors, personal trainers, coaches and other self-employed physical activity workers in Wales are being given extra financial support through Sport Wales. The grassroots sports ... More
20 Jan 2021
Sign the petition by clicking here. HCM editor, Liz Terry, has launched a Parliamentary Petition calling for gyms to be in the first wave of ... More
22 Jan 2021
The failure to tackle the UK's obesity crisis is down to successive governments being guilty of weak policy design, lack of effectiveness and botched implementation. ... More
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Miha Bodytec GmbH
22 Jan 2021
Les Mills has launched a new digital content solution to support health and fitness operators in engaging their members outside the four walls of their ... More
21 Jan 2021
Gymbox has entered the hospitality space with the signing of a deal to deliver in-room exercise sessions to guests staying at citizenM hotels around the ... More
21 Jan 2021
The Hong Kong government has revealed plans to provide the historic Ocean Park theme park with a further HK$2.8bn (US$361m, €298m, (£265m) worth of investment ... More
21 Jan 2021
Nuffield Health has launched a series of free, online classes focused on emotional wellbeing. The classes have been made available on the healthcare charity's digital ... More
20 Jan 2021
For over 30 years, ASPA International has designed and built high-quality spas for the hotel, health and wellness sectors. During the 2020 lockdowns, it conceived, ... More
20 Jan 2021
Resistance training is just as beneficial for men and women over the age of 50, a new study has found. Research by the University of ... More
TVS Sport Surfaces
TVS Sport Surfaces
19 Jan 2021
Fitness, sport and leisure sector professionals who have continued to deliver services to their communities throughout the pandemic are to be celebrated at industry networking ... More
19 Jan 2021
Design specialist BRC Imagination Arts (BRC) has been selected to design and produce the World Food Center Experience in Ede, the Netherlands. The attraction will ... More
19 Jan 2021
Broadcaster and natural historian, Sir David Attenborough, will front a new virtual app which will allow users to explore exotic plants and animals in their ... More
1 - 15 of 43,107
Technogym
Technogym