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leisure opportunities Test pupils’ fitness: ukactive report


Continued from front cover The report into the youth inactivity levels of UK schoolchildren outlines several startling findings. Freedom of Information


(FOI) requests revealed less than half of schools surveyed (43 per cent) record the length of time children actually spend being physically active in PE lessons. As a result, the body is calling for primary schools to test pupils’ fitness in the same way as subjects like Maths and English to ensure children are meeting basic guidelines. “Te focus should be on ensuring that chil-


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ukactive is calling for primary schools to test pupils’ fitness levels


dren are given all the necessary support possible in order to achieve the 60 minutes of daily activ- ity recommended in the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines,” said ukactive chair Baroness Tanni Grey-Tompson. “Tis does not mean we wish to see 60 minutes of timetabled PE per day. Instead, we are calling for a focus on a ‘whole school approach’. Tis means looking at how children travel to and from school, the man- ner in which they integrate activity as simple as standing in lessons, the development of more effective use of play time opportunities and the


provision of pre- and post school activities.” ukactive’s report, which has received backing


from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, makes a number of recommendations to overcome the youth inactivity epidemic. It says the government should extend the


National Child measurement programme to record fitness levels, in addition to the current reading of BMI, as this gives little indication of a child’s activity levels. Tere are also calls for the forthcoming Childcare Bill to include a statutory requirement for dedicated amounts of activity time. Details: http://lei.sr?a=q2M5K_O


‘Savvy shoppers’ spend less on leisure


More than one third of Britons spent less on leisure last year, as the legacy of the recession saw shoppers cut back on virtually all sectors of expenditure – despite 2014 marking the fastest rate of economic growth in the UK since 2007. The findings from Mintel’s new British


Lifestyles report – which tracks the activity of all consumer sectors in the UK – shows that over the past year consumers are more likely to have spent less in every area except in-home food. Analysts said consumers continued to favour


the thriſty approach to expenditure which they developed during the recession, as low wage increases and a high cost of living mean many aren’t feeling the benefits of the recovery. “The savvy shopping habits that people


have adopted during the slowdown are deeply engrained and there is still a lot of ground to make up,” said Ina Mitskavets, senior con- sumer and lifestyles analyst at Mintel. “Even though the growth in the economy has picked


24 34 per cent of consumers spent less on leisure last year


up in earnest over the past year, households have not yet seen a sustained period of earn- ings growing above prices in the shops, meaning that for many Britons, the recov- ery is yet to trickle down to their pockets.” Details: http://lei.sr?a=q2M5K_O


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