A survey of almost 40,000 schoolchildren in Greater Manchester showed boys were more satisfied with their lives than girls, researchers say.

And only a third of youngsters were playing enough sport while spending an average of 4.4 hours a day on social media.

The life satisfaction average score showed 6.2 out of 10 for girls but 7.2 for boys in the survey of Year 8 and 10 pupils according to the survey, titled #BeeWell, which was co-designed with young people, according to researchers.

It was focused on wellbeing and showed four in five young people say they feel they belong at school, with around two thirds involved in sport outside of school at least once a week

Wellbeing metrics for Greater Manchester young people were consistent with other large studies nationally, from life satisfaction to mental wellbeing to emotional difficulties, researchers say.

But inequalities exist in wellbeing scores, according to the survey results with sizeable inequalities for young people who identify as LGBTQ+, who on average report higher levels of stress and emotional difficulties.

Physical activity levels appear to have fallen following the pandemic, with only 1 in 3 young people reaching the recommended levels of physical activity, which is an hour of vigorous physical activity each day.

Despite this, a large majority of young people (67%) are still getting involved in sport outside of school at least once a week, and 4 in 5 young people feel they have good, very good or excellent physical health.

The study also showed 40% of young people say they do not normally get enough sleep to feel awake and concentrate on schoolwork during the day, with the average time spent on social media being 4.4 hours a day.

Analysis of the results was carried out by the University of Manchester and will be used for a new social prescribing pilot in Greater Manchester, with youth-led funding pots of £20,000 to support health and wellbeing activities.

Professor Neil Humphrey, academic lead for #BeeWell at the University of Manchester, said: “The #BeeWell research team is delighted to begin reporting the initial findings of our first annual survey. The young people of Greater Manchester have spoken.

“The crucial next step is for the system to respond to what they have told us with the kinds of support that young people want and need, supported by professionals and their local communities.

“This is just the start of the research we will be able to carry out with the dataset and we will work closely with young people and partners to maximise its impact.”

#BeeWell is a £2mn collaboration between the University of Manchester, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Anna Freud Centre.