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Nearly half of secondary pupils choose football over Facebook, research finds

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Three-fifths of teenagers would rather play real-life sport than the virtual version, and almost half prefer sport to social media, new research has found.

But schools are not capitalising on this: the majority of pupils still do fewer than two hours’ exercise at school each week, the researchers said.

The survey of more than 2,000 secondary pupils was conducted by classroom-rewards company School Stickers. It found that, despite public hand-wringing over a generation growing up playing only those sports which feature a joystick, 59 per cent would rather play sport than a computer game.

And 46 per cent said that they would rather play sport than use social media.

The vast majority – 94 per cent – of the pupils surveyed go to schools which are holding a sports day this summer. Nonetheless, 53 per cent are given less than two hours of PE lessons each week. And one in 10 (11 per cent) does less than an hour’s PE at school each week.

Outside school, however, 55 per cent of teenagers say that they do more than two hours of sport each week. And 25 per cent spend more than four hours each week playing extracurricular sports.

The most popular sports were football and running, with 30 per cent of pupils playing both. Twenty-eight per cent of teenagers went swimming, and 16 per cent played athletics. Gymnastics, cricket, street dance, traditional dance and cheerleading all featured as teenagers' exercises of choice.


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