Research carried out by Decathlon has found that children tend to be the least active family members. 77 per cent of 7,600 parents questioned said that they exercised more frequently than their children, even when PE lessons were taken into account.
In 2017, Cycling UK said that getting more children cycling to school should be a public health priority after the Millennium Cohort Study highlighted a ‘stark’ increase in the proportion of children who are overweight or obese between the ages of seven and 11.
The study of nearly 12,000 children found that 25 per cent were overweight or obese at age seven, rising to 35 per cent at 11.
The NHS advises that parents should set a positive example to kids when it comes to exercise.
Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of parents who responded to the Decathlon survey said they believed they were fitter than their kids. It’s unclear just what this is worth however when you consider that 79 per cent said that their family makes no effort to exercise.
Chris Allen, market manager at Decathlon commented: “It’s really concerning to see how unfit kids are and just how few families are exercising together. The research also looks into the activity levels of adult children, revealing how they too are less active than their parents – suggesting that learned habits from childhood are affecting activity levels in their adult lives.
“Children today are pursuing less active and exercise-based past-times; the key is to make it fun for them by finding a sport or form of exercise they genuinely enjoy. Making exercise a more social occasion, by getting friends or the whole family involved is a great way to introduce an active lifestyle to kids.”