Most Primary School Kids ‘Fall Below Fitness Levels’

Most Primary School Kids ‘Fall Below Fitness Levels’Most Primary School Kids ‘Fall Below Fitness Levels’

Two-thirds of primary school age children are falling below the recommended levels of fitness for their age group, research has warned.

A study of 10,000 5 to 11-year-olds found that 67 per cent were unable to reach targets in jumping, running and throwing - while a quarter (24%) fell “significantly” below recommended levels, indicating that fitness is a cause for concern.

‘Fit For Sport’, which conducted the tests, said the results show that parents and schools must do more to increase children’s activity levels to ensure they stay healthy, reports the UK’s Plymouth Herald online.

The youngsters were assessed by carrying out the Activity Challenge - a series of tests created to assess various factors of fitness including stamina, agility, co-ordination and cardiovascular endurance, to give a good indication of fitness and physical literacy.

It found that only just over a third (36%) of 5 to 7-year-olds were at an adequate level of fitness, falling to 32% and 33% for 8-9 and 10-11-year-olds respectively.

The Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines recommend that children spend 60 minutes a day being physically active - yet only 21% of boys and 16% of girls achieve this.

The lowest results were recorded in running challenges that test cardiovascular endurance, indicating that not only are many children getting too little physical activity, they are also failing to spend enough time doing vigorous intensity activity where they are out of breath and their heart rate increases.