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Wiltshire Healthy Lifestyles report published today

Thursday 29th March 2018

To better understand Wiltshire children and young people’s experiences of life, both inside and outside school we have commissioned a Children’s and Young People’s Health and Wellbeing Survey which was delivered for the first time in 2015 and again in 2017. The survey helps schools to identify areas for improvement and address particular issues raised by their own pupils and to provide evidence to influence future services provided by Wiltshire Council and their partners that improve the health and wellbeing of our young people. In 2017 the survey grew to 95 schools and nearly 10,000 pupils.

The Council's public health team prepared a number of themed reports to assist with sharing the results of the survey with partners. These cover Emotional Health, Community Safety, Risky Behaviours, Healthy Lifestyles and School Engagement. These can be found here as they are published.

NHS guidelines advise at least 60 minutes of exercise a day for people between the ages of 5 and 18 years old. The results from the survey show that 44% of primary school respondents, 50% of secondary school respondents and 32% of year 12/FE respondents reported being physically active 6 or more hours a week.

77% of primary school respondents, 63% of secondary school respondents and 42% of year 12/FE respondents felt they do enough exercise quite often or always to keep themselves healthy

Respondents were asked how important a number of reasons were in the decision to do physical activity. In primary school the top 3 reasons were to exercise/get fit (84%), enjoyment (82%) and get better at it (78%). In secondary school the top 3 reasons were to exercise/get fit (81%), enjoyment (74%) and weight management/body shaping (63%). In the year 12/FE sample the top 3 reasons were enjoyment (73%), exercise/get fit (65%) and unwind/reduce stress (63%).

Breakfast consumption appears to reduce with school phase. 87% of primary school respondents had breakfast most days or quite often. This fell to 64% of the secondary school sample and 47% of the year 12/FE school sample.

The majority of respondents do not eat the recommended 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day. 66% of primary school respondents, 78% of secondary school respondents and 86% of year 12/FE respondents ate less than 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. There does appear to be a reduction in the reported consumption of fruits and vegetables with the progressing school phases.

A large proportion of respondents from primary school and secondary school reported eating snacks once a day (40% and 41%). In the post-secondary school sample 39% of the respondents reported eating a snack 3 times a day.

Nearly 70% of secondary school, 60% of year 12/FE pupils and 75% of primary school respondents reported never having drunk an energy drink.

33% of primary and secondary school respondents reported having school lunches every day.

Nearly 50% of primary school and secondary school respondents reported drinking fizzy drinks once a week. In the year 12/FE sample this falls to 38% and more frequent options such as 3 times a day and 5 or more times a day increase. In fact 25% of the year 12/FE sample reported drinking fizzy drinks 3 or more times a day.

The proportion of primary school children always taking care to protect their skin is much higher than the other school phases (46% primary school, 26% secondary school and 20% year 12/FE)

Primary school children were asked about their hand washing habits after going to the toilet and before eating a meal. 71% always wash their hands after going to the toilet and 34% always wash their hands before eating a meal.

Most of the respondents reported brushing their teeth at least twice a day 84%-87%.

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