Adolescents in Wales not meeting physical activity guidelines – updated analysis

Just 18 per cent of adolescents in Wales are getting the recommended amount of physical activity, according to an updated analysis for the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) reporting tool.

UK physical activity guidelines say children and young people should aim for an average of at least 60 minutes per day across the week.  82 per cent of 11 to 16 year-olds surveyed said they were currently doing less. 

Susan Mably, Consultant in Public Health for Public Health Wales, said:

“The data confirms to us that, in common with many other parts of the World, young people in Wales are not as physically active as we would recommend, meaning that they are missing out on the numerous associated benefits to health and wellbeing.

“It is clear that we all spend too much of our time being inactive.  Faced with this challenge Public Health Wales is working in partnership with Natural Resources Wales and Sport Wales to find ways in which we can open up opportunities for young people to be physically active in their daily lives, whether that be by walking, cycling or scooting to school, introducing activity into the routine of every school day or encouraging participation in outdoor recreational activities.”

Caryn Cox, Consultant in Public Health for the Public Health Outcomes Framework, said:

"This update provides valuable evidence for policy-makers to help them understand the impact which our individual behaviours, public services, programmes and policies are having on health and well-being in Wales.”

Other key findings in the analysis include:

•    Eight per cent of 11 to 16 year-olds said they drink alcohol at least once a week, rising to 11 per cent in some parts of Wales

•    18 per cent of 11 to 16 year-olds drink sugary drinks once a day or more, with the figure rising to 22 per cent in some health board areas

The Public Health Wales Observatory has published the Public Health Outcomes Framework reporting tool to track the health and wellbeing of the nation.  The tool presents data on 40 key indicators from the Public Health Outcomes Framework, which was launched by Welsh Government in March 2016.

This framework was developed to help understand the impact which individual behaviours, public services, programmes and policies have on health and well-being in Wales.