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Calls for schools to combine sport and technology

Almost one in four children believe that playing video games counts as exercise


A report by Youth Sport Trust, says future generations of young people are risking becoming “hostages to handheld devices”.

The survey of 1,000 children aged five to 16-years-old also found that around 75 per cent said they enjoy PE lessons in school.

The sports charity claims the subject should remain a key priority to avoid a physically and socially disengaged generation, over dependent on technology, which will result in low physical, social and emotional wellbeing.

Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver said: “This report clearly signals that action is needed now to modernise the approach to PE and school sport and in doing so guarantee the best possible future for generations to come.

“If we are to avoid a future whereby young people are disengaged from physical activity, living increasingly sedentary lifestyles, we must recognise their needs today, working with Government and partners within the education, sport and health sectors to improve opportunities for young people through PE and school sport.”

The Government said it had given schools £300m to improve school sport, and PE was a priority.

BUT the organisation is calling on more to be done to use technology to better inspire pupils to play more sport.

Ms Oliver added: “Government investment through the PE and Sport Premium in recent years has helped to improve the physical literacy of young people and has laid some strong foundations to ensure a more physically active nation in the future.

“The challenge is to maintain these gains as children become more engaged with digital technology.”

Research by the charity suggests that young people tend to favour outdoor, face-to-face and socially oriented forms of activity more, with 64 per cent saying they feel better about themselves after taking part in physical activity.

Minister of State for Children and Families Edward Timpson MP added: “It is pleasing that the Youth Sport Trust’s research shows that millions of young people are enjoying PE lessons.

“We want to encourage all young people to get into the healthy habit of playing and enjoying sport – both inside and outside school – which is why PE remains a Government priority.”

Earlier this year, the Youth Sport Trust published figures that showed the average amount of PE offered in schools, no longer measured by the Government, had dropped well below the recommended two hours minimum per week.

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