Key messages from the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey for Somerset - Academic year 2021-22

We have recently been analysing local data from the Children & Young People Active Lives Survey for Somerset. Here we will talk about the trends for physical activity across our county, what this means for our work, and how we can use this data to make decisions.

Before we talk about trends, it's important to highlight the sample size for Somerset has previously fallen year-on-year from n=2572 in 2017-18 down to n=940 in 2020-21. We have seen an increase this year of 24% to n=1,168. Whilst this is good news, it is still relatively low and limits the available sub-group analysis of the data. We continue to engage with schools to help show the importance, and impact, of the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey.

What trends are we seeing across Somerset for Children and Young People?

1. Children’s activity levels have recovered to pre-pandemic levels

Children and young people's activity levels overall have recovered to pre-pandemic levels, with 50.2% of children meeting the Chief Medical Officers' guidelines of taking part in an average of 60 minutes or more of sport and physical activity a day. The figures, are an encouraging step in the right direction but also a reminder there is much more to do so that as many children as possible feel the benefits of being active.

2. There is inequality in the recovery

Despite our overall figures looking very positive, we have seen inequality in our recovery. Our main areas of inequality are:

1. Girls have not recovered as well as boys

2. Lower affluent families are still less likely to be active than those from high affluence

3. Some primary-aged children have struggled to get back to pre-pandemic levels

3. Mental health and physical literacy are key to improving activity levels

In line with national trends, Somerset continues to see fewer children reporting each of the positive attitudes.

Noticeable decreases are seen in understanding and, particularly, in knowledge (years 7-11) with a decrease of 19% from 2020-21.

So what does this all mean for us in Somerset?

What next?

We would like to explore these results further, and think about how we can embed them in to decision making around our work on physical activity. If you would like to learn more about the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey, and what it means for physical activity in Somerset, please contact Annabel Litchfield, Impact and Learning Manager on

About the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey

The Active Lives Children and Young People Survey presents data for children and young people in school Years 1-11 (ages 5-16) in England. The first survey was completed in the academic year 2017-2018. Further results are published each academic year. More information can be found on Sport England's website, here. The data here covers the academic year 2021-22. This contains some restrictions related to the omicron variant of COVID-19.


Annabel Litchfield (she/her)

Annabel Litchfield (she/her)

Impact & Learning Manager

07599 654681​

Partners and Sponsors

Partners and Sponsors

  • Sport England
    Active Partnerships
    Somerset Business Award Winner
    Somerset Chamber of Commerce
    Disability Confident
  • Somerset Skills & Learning
    Youth Sport Trust
    activity alliance
    Somerset Partnership
    Somerset County Council
    Avon & Somerset Police
  • Homes in Sedgemoor
    Macmillan Cancer Support
    Community Council for Somerset
    Spark Somerset
    YMCA Dulverton Group
    Department for Work & Pensions
  • EDF
    together team
    Somerset Cricket Board
    British American Football Association
    Badminton England
  • Somerset FA
    British Cycling
    Create Development
    Children in Need
    The Salvation Army
  • Channel Adventure
    Nova Sports & Coaching
    Somerset Community Foundation
    Sports Coach UK