Nine out of 10 adults believe technology and hand-held devices are making children today less active than when they were young, a new survey has revealed.

The research also found that six out of 10 adults (62%) feel that children’s diets are less healthy than 50 years ago, with 73% stating children today are less physically active. This is despite almost seven out of ten (68%) people believing there is more opportunity for children to get involved in sports in the community today then there was 50 years ago, with the figure increasing to 76% for the over 50s surveyed.

Commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Community Games this year, the survey examined views on health, exercise and community participation, with an emphasis placed on the opinions of adults aged 50 years and older.

Over the past 50 years more than five million Irish children have participated in Aldi Community Games, with the research finding that half (51%) of all adults in Ireland today have taken part. Two out of three of those who participated (65%) said the experience encouraged them to get their children or grandchildren involved in community activities.

91% of adults surveyed felt it was important or very important for children to be involved in a community club or activity like Community Games. The reasons why adults felt children should get involved varied, with 33% stating it was for general fitness, 33% for mental wellbeing, 25% to make friends, and 11% to combat obesity.

The over 50s were more concerned about general fitness (36%), while the under 30s stated it was more important to make friends (39%).

Aldi Community Games August National Festival took place from August 19-20, with some 4,000 children travelling from around Ireland to the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus at Abbotstown in Co. Dublin to take part.