Teenagers have blamed the lack of activities available to them in their local area for their lazy lifestyle habits, a survey out today suggests.
Children's minister Beverley Hughes said: "It's extremely important that we listen to what teenagers themselves are saying.
"The Teen Talk survey did just that, and showed that the vast majority of young people want to use their free time constructively.
"This puts paid to the all-too-familiar portrayal of them as only being interested in hanging around on the streets or playing computer games."
Mobile network Blyk conducted the largest ever SMS-based poll of teenagers' interests, with over 3,500 16 to 19-year-olds participating.
It found 90 per cent of respondents admitted they spent too much time hanging out at home or with their friends because of the lack of opportunities available.
But, dispelling the popular perception that they would rather do next to nothing at all, 72 per cent said they would rather engage in activities like football, dance, going to the gym or martial arts.
The government takes comfort from the survey, which backs its programmes seeking to create opportunities for young people to follow their interests.
It is investing £679 million through its Aiming High for Young People and Youth Taskforce initiatives.
Almost one in five of those surveyed went on to look at the website promoting activities in their local area, underlining the survey's findings.