Table 3

Overview of the UK national surveys that measure compliance with the child MVPA recommendation

CountrySurveyCurrent questionnaireLatest prevalence estimate
EnglandHealth Survey for England
  • 7-day recall period with activities reported on specific days

  • Domain specific, including activity at school

  • Asked of all 2–15 years, proxy report up to age 12

  • Children 2–4 years old analysed separately against the under 5s recommendation

Children 2–4 years old:
9%
B: 10% G: 9%
Children 5–15 years old:
21%
B: 24% G: 18%
(2015)27
Active Lives: Children and Young People Survey
  • Adaptive recall period 7 days/4 weeks to suit frequency

  • Activities in past week reported on specific days

  • Asked of years 1–11 (approximately 5–15 years)

  • Questionnaire adapted to age of child

  • Supplementary information from parents and teacher questionnaires

Children 5–16 years old:
B: 20% G: 14% (2017/2018)68
Northern IrelandYoung Persons’ Behaviour and Attitudes Survey
  • Single-item question asking how many days in last 7 days undertaken ≥60 min MVPA

  • Also questions to give greater detail on specific activity participation over 7-day/12-month time period

    • Asked of children 11–16 years old

Children 11–16 years old:
13%
B: 17% G: 8%
(2016)69
Continuous Household Survey
  • Single item on time spent in other sport and exercise activities per day

  • Unanchored recall period (‘on average’)

  • Detailed active travel questions not included in prevalence estimate

  • Asked of school children aged 4–19 years, parental proxy report for younger children

Primary school:
39%
Post-primary school:
26%
(2016/2017)70
ScotlandScottish Health Survey
  • 7-day recall period, with activities reported on specific days

  • Domain specific, including activity at school

  • Asked of all 2–15 years, parent proxy report for younger children

  • Headline figures reported for children 5–15 years old (and 4-year-olds at school)

  • No reporting on the under 5s recommendation

Children 5–15 years old:
33%
B: 36% G: 31%
(2017)71
WalesNational Survey for Wales
  • Duration of any MVPA reported for each day in last 7 days

  • Proxy report for all ages (only asked of those aged 3–7) from parent

Children 3–7 years old:
51%
B: 55%, G: 47%
(2016–2017)67
England, Scotland,
Wales
Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children
  • Single-item question where respondents report the days in last seven when undertaken ≥60 min MVPA

  • Children 11, 13, 15 years old, school-based survey

15%–19%
B: 20%–22%
G: 11%–15%
(2014)24–26
  • B, boys; G, girls; MVPA, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.