Games console ownership among children drastically outweighs the number that own a bike, according to a new report.
The study found that a third of children did not own a bike, while three out of four own a games console. Two thirds of the children polled owned a mobile phone, the same proportion as those owning a bike. One in ten had not learnt to ride a bike, according to the poll which questioned 1,500 children aged between six and 15.
The report will likely surprise few. While a number of initiatives are aimed at getting kids on their bikes, not least the cycle industry-backed and Sustrans-run Big Pedal competition, fears are rife over a sedentary nation battling increasing levels of obesity – estimated to cost £50 billion a year by 2050. Despite those worries stories in the media have served to highlight some of the obstacles to getting children on bikes: last summer parents at a South London school were heavily criticised for allowing their eight year old and five year old cycle to school unsupervised.
Tata Steel, sponsor of a number of mini-triathlons, created the research which also found that 15 per cent could not swim and one in four had never run a distance of 400 metres.