Summary of report content
Healthwatch Worcestershire wanted to know what children thought could help them to live a healthier life and the most effective ways to help them understand more about being healthy. 453 children and young people between the ages of 4 and 18 completed a survey.
Responses suggest that eating more healthy food and less junk food was the most important thing overall to help have a healthy life. This was followed by doing more exercise and playing more sport. Support to deal with problems and knowing how to stop infections spreading were both chosen by 10% of respondents.
Healthy eating was most popular choice amongst younger children and the teenagers. The under 10s especially, with over half of them thinking this was most important. Exercise was the most popular choice for the 10 to 13-year olds. Older children and teenagers were more likely to select emotional wellbeing as being more important for their health than younger children.
The similar response rate across the ages suggests that all age groups could benefit from gaining more understanding about infection control and hygiene.
Overall, being given information in school, either in class or assembly was being the most helpful way to gain more of an understanding about being healthy.
Points for consideration
- Children and young people are aware that what they eat is an important part of being healthy.
- Many children and young people are also aware of the benefits of exercise, although further promotion of this amongst teenagers could be beneficial.
- Older children and young people are more likely to recognise the importance of having support for emotional wellbeing on their overall health. It could be useful to increase awareness of this amongst younger children.
- It could be valuable to increase awareness and understanding amongst children and young people about how to stop infections spreading.
- Children and young people think that having information face-to-face, such as in class or assembly at school is the most effective way of providing understanding.
- Apps for phones and tablets could help children and young people to learn more about being healthy. These need to be age appropriate, with more focus on game apps for younger children and information apps for older children and young people.