Study finds children less active from age 7

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A major study has found that activity levels drop in children at the age of 7, with experts warning of the impact of ‘digital dependency’ and a sedentary lifestyle.

The Gateshead Millenium Cohort study tracked the activity levels of children over 8 years, from 2006 to 2015, with each child wearing a monitor for a week at a time. The amount of exercise was measured at regular intervals at ages 7, 9, 12 and 15.

The results, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, show a fall in exercise levels between the ages of 7 and 15.

Boys spent on average 75 minutes per day exercising at age 7, but only 51 minutes per day by age 15. For girls, this dropped from 63 minutes per day to 41 minutes.

The study found that children who maintained their exercise levels through to 15 years old were also the ones who registered the highest activity levels at age 7.

Researchers said much of the decline in activity level was caused by the use of smartphones and computers, as well as by being driven to school rather than walking.

The study, led by the Universi...