The, 2019, UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines, recommend that children between the age of 3 to 4 should spend at least 180 minutes per day in a variety of physical activities spread throughout the day, where at least 60 minutes are classified as ‘moderate-to-vigorous physical activity’ (MVPA). Children over the age of 4 should engage in MVPA for an average of at least 60 minutes per day, seven days a week. The survey asked the parents and guardians of children between the ages of 3 and 7 questions about their child’s activity and asked them to report on the amount of time their child was active on each day in the previous seven days. Exercising was defined as any physical activity that their child feeling warm or at least slightly short of breath, including activities such as playing sport, cycling, running or brisk walking and included exercise done at school, outside school, with a club, with friends or on their own.
Physical activity in schools
In June 2012, as part of a Statement in Assembly Plenary on Active Children and Young People, the Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage convened ‘The Schools and Physical Activity Task Group’. The primary purpose of the group was to operationalize the Welsh Government’s commitment ‘to make physical literacy as important a development skill as reading and writing.’ The conclusions of the task group was that changing the status of physical education is the only credible and secure way of ensuring this. One such aspect of the school curriculum for all three to seven year olds in Wales is ‘The Foundation Phase’. It encourages children to be creative and imaginative, and makes learning more enjoyable and more effective. As such, the subject of physical education in its traditional form no longer exists for pupils under the age of 7 in Wales. In light of the recommendations given by ‘The Schools and Physical Activity Task Group’ and the role of physical education in developing physical literacy and in particular the importance of this age group for laying the foundations of movement for lifelong engagement in physical activity, the disappearance of physical education from the curriculum could be deemed to be a concern.