AN incredible 45 per cent of children (340,000) in Yorkshire are not getting their recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day, new analysis has revealed.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on this number, with fewer children meeting their targeted hours' worth of exercise in 2020 than in 2019.

This is largely due to a drop in the number of grassroots sports and recreational clubs available for children to take part in.

Research produced by, the digital fundraising platform, has shown that vital extra-curricular activities have been suspended in 72 per cent of primary schools nationally for the current academic year.

Children who stay active are 15.5 times less likely to suffer from obesity than those who don’t.

Inactivity also effects mental health. Data shows that children who regularly play team sports feel six per cent happier and 12 per cent more satisfied with life on average when compared to those who don’t play sport.

With half of all mental health conditions established by the age of 14, concerns are mounting that this could have a long-term effect on a whole generation of children whose access to extra-curricular activities has been incredibly limited.

Sports organisations have been among the hardest hit, with research showing that UK sports clubs lost as many as 60 per cent of their members during COVID.

Football, the UK’s most popular game, is just one of the sports to be severely impacted. 96 per cent of all grassroots football clubs have seen a reduction in income during the pandemic due to lack of fundraising opportunities and loss of sponsorship. As a result, a whopping 12 per cent of the 43,000 football clubs in the UK, which comprise of over 100,000 teams, fear closure is inevitable.

The strain can also be felt across other sports. It is estimated that 240,000 fewer children will be able to swim 25 metres by the end of this academic year as a result of suspended swimming lessons and leisure centre closures.

Similarly, it’s estimated that 73 per cent of gymnastics clubs are at risk, with 55 per cent facing permanent closure.

In addition to sports clubs, the pandemic has also had a significant impact on other vital extra-curricular clubs.

The Scout Association claims that more than 500 Scout groups are at risk of closure due to fundraising challenges, whilst a third of music groups report that they are working with fewer children as a result of COVID-19.

Plus, with only a third of youth music clubs able to operate fully with social distancing rules in place, many have been operating at a reduced capacity for over 16 months.