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Children ‘get less exercise as they grow older’

17th July 2017

Children become less likely to get the right amount of exercise as they grow older, according to a new study.

This is according to a new survey from Public Health England and Disney, which examined the effects of physical activity on children's emotional wellbeing by surveying more than 1,000 children aged five to 11.

It was shown that the number of children doing an hour of exercise a day falls by nearly 40 percent between the ages of five and 12, with just 17 percent of pupils doing the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day by their final year of primary school.

This follows an NHS report published last December showing that only 23 percent of boys and 20 percent of girls between the ages of five and 15 meet the national recommended level of activity.

The new research also showed that children's overall happiness declined with age, with 64 percent of five and six-year-olds saying they always felt happy, compared with just 48 percent of 11-year-olds.

Eustace de Sousa of Public Health England said: "Children who get enough physical activity are mentally and physically healthier, and have all-round better development into adulthood – getting into the habit of doing short bursts of activity early can deliver lifelong benefits."

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