A major lifestyle survey of adolescents and primary school children across the Isle and North Lincolnshire has revealed continuing improvements to health and wellbeing over 10 years.
Around 5,700 11 to 15 year olds took part in the survey that is undertaken every three years, involving all secondary schools in North Lincolnshire, plus sixth forms and colleges for the first time, making it the most comprehensive survey yet.
Key findings showed:
The vast majority (86 per cent) report being in good physical health
The proportion of young people who report being physically active for at least one hour a day has risen markedly since 2010, from 10 per cent to 23 per cent
The proportion of pupils who reported worrying a lot about bullying in the last month has fallen considerably in the last 10 years – down to nine per cent compared with 13 per cent in 2010, 15 per cent in 2007 and 20 per cent in 2004
Regular drinking and self-reported drug use among teenagers has also fallen in recent years – three per cent said they had tried cannabis in the last four weeks. This compares with four per cent in 2010 and seven per cent in 2007
Drinking to excess has also fallen in every school. Fifteen per cent said they had been drunk at least once in the previous four weeks, compared with 22 per cent in 2010
Knowledge and awareness of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and how to avoid them has improved significantly. Only six per cent of year 10s said they did not know what Chlamydia was, compared to 20 per cent in 2004.
Following the success of the adolescent survey, the first primary school lifestyle survey has also been undertaken in North Lincolnshire this year. Twenty primary schools were invited to take part in the pilot, but due to considerable interest from head teachers, 37 out of 56 mainstream primary schools ended up taking part, and around 1,590 pupils (aged nine to 11 years old).
Key findings of the primary school lifestyle survey were:
74 per cent said they participated in sport/physical activity outside school
89 per cent of pupils said they enjoyed working hard at school
The vast majority said they felt safe in their local area, walking home from school and playing out in their area
The vast majority of years five and six (77 per cent) said they found it easy or very easy to talk to their parents and carers about things that really bothered them
The vast majority recognised the positive and healthy aspects of relationships, such as treating each other with respect and feeling happy and comfortable in each other’s company.
Coun Rob Waltham, chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, North Lincolnshire Council, said: “This demonstrates that we are working hard in the right areas and that we are making a dramatic impact on young people’s lives. Together, we are helping improve the health and wellbeing of our younger population and this is good to see.
“The surveys are important and provide a valuable insight into perceptions, behaviours and lifestyles of 11 to 16 year olds in North Lincolnshire. The results are shared with a wide range of partners and enable us collectively to better support children, young people and their families.”