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Half of UK children 'need more exercise'

Half of all seven year olds do not do enough exercise in the UK, a study has shown. 

Researchers from University College London found that girls were less likely to exercise than boys, as only 38% met the target of 60 minutes moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. 

Children in Scotland were most likely (52.5%) to reach the target. But only a third of children of Bangladeshi origin (33%) met the target. 

Half of the group spent more than six hours being sedentary each day, although the researchers noted that some of this time would be spent in class. 

In the study, the authors state: “Contemporary UK children are insufficiently active, implying that effort is needed to boost [physical activity] among young people to the level appropriate for good health.” 

Dr Ann Hoskins, of Public Health England, told the BBC: "This study highlights that there is still much to do to keep children and young people active as they grow older, especially girls.

"The new school year is the perfect time to make healthy changes, swapping short car or bus journeys with walking or scooting to school."