Only 16% of secondary school-aged children in Wales spend enough time being physically active. This is according to the latest findings of a biennial survey by the School Health Research Network, carried out from September 2021 to January 2022.
The survey, Student Health and Wellbeing In Wales: Report of the 2021/22 School Health Research Network Student Health and Wellbeing Survey, found that over three quarters of children and teenagers did not meet the recommended physical activity guidelines of at least 60 minutes per day. The figure represents a gradual decline in physical activity from previous results published in 2017 and 2019.
Another key finding of the survey is that mental wellbeing has significantly decreased since 2017, particularly affecting girls. The proportion of girls reporting low mental wellbeing has increased by 9.5% since 2017.
More than 123,000 children aged 11 to 16 took part in the survey, which was published in April 2023. These survey results are the first to be gathered since the COVID-19 lockdown.