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Move It: increasing young people's participation in sport

After a summer of sport in 2012, a report released by The Young Foundation finds traditional sports focus does not suit all inactive children, who prefer informal, individual activities. The problem is, according to Think Tank, is that we sit at home watching sport, rather than participating ourselves.

Levels of physical activity in the UK are in decline and sedentary lifestyles are increasingly becoming the norm. It says we face an epidemic of inactivity that is costing a fortune and threatens the health and well-being of millions.

"Move It" looks at participation in sport and physical activity in England, focusing particularly on young people. The Young Foundation look at the reasons why levels of participation are low and provide a four-point action plan to get more people active.

The report highlights inactivity constituting a major public health threat- increasing the risks of chronic disease and disability. This not only causes serious and unnecessary suffering and impairs quality of life, but also comes at a significant economic cost. They stipulate direct costs to the NHS and indirect costs to society as a result of inactivity total more than £8 billion each year. In a time of less funding, they report, investing in physical activity is smart public policy.

The new emphasis on young people is encouraging, but The Young Foundation believe society is failing to address some of the core structural and policy problems. It states, the philosophy of sports policy remains embedded in supporting elite and competitive sports and in order to achieve lasting change they propose some possible solutions.

Download a PDF of the report

Download a PDF of the executive summary

See more on the Young Foundation's work in Health and Ageing

See more on the Young Foundation's work in Youth Transitions