Page last updated at 12:49 GMT, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Older teenagers 'stop exercising'

teenager playing basketball
Figures show 70% of school leavers in England do not work out regularly

The majority of 19-year-olds in England do not take regular exercise once they have left school, according to figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats.

Only 30% of 19-year-olds participate in at least 30 minutes of sport, of at least moderate intensity, three times a week or more.

And just 20% of sixth formers reach the target of three hours of sport a week.

The number of 16 to 18-year-olds doing sport at least once a month has been in decline over the past four years.

The statistics - provided by Sport England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport - were obtained by the Liberal Democrats in response to a parliamentary question.

'Obesity time-bomb'

The figures show 37% of 16-year-olds, 35% of 17-year-olds and 31% of 18-year-olds take part in at least 30 minutes of sport, of at least moderate intensity, at least three times a week.

Large numbers of children still aren't doing enough exercise
Don Foster, Liberal Democrats

There has also been a steady decline in the percentage of teenagers participating in at least one active sport a month.

In 2005-06, 83% of 16-year-olds were active once a month, but this fell to 78% in 2008-09.

Liberal Democrat sport spokesman Don Foster said: "Ministers' claims over successes in school sport mask the fact that large numbers of children still aren't doing enough exercise.

"Despite the government pumping billions of pounds into school sport, many older children are doing very little exercise and dropping out completely once they leave.

"It's ludicrous for ministers to be making commitments to raise the time children spend playing sport to five hours a week when some are doing less than half an hour a week.

"With the country threatened by an obesity time-bomb, it is vital that the government gets the basics right before making grand promises."

Print Sponsor

Skateboarding and yoga boost PE
01 Apr 09 |  Education
Team sports blamed for health gap
05 Sep 08 |  Education
Committee criticises PE 'failure'
14 May 09 |  Scotland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific