Record numbers more physically active

More women, older adults, disabled people and those with long-term health conditions are getting active, the latest Sport England Active Lives Adult Survey shows.

Based on data gathered from November 2017-November 2018, a total of 498,100 more people (aged 16+) are meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week compared to 12 months ago. In addition to the increase in people classed as active, the number of inactive adults – those doing fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a week – has reduced by 185,000.

These figures mean that 62.6% of the adult population are now classed as active, with 25.1% now inactive. The results, based on a sample of 180,000 members of the public, show specific increases in the number of active women, with a year-on-year increase of 286,000 thanks in part to efforts across the sport and physical activity sector to appeal to women. This means the gender gap between numbers of men and women who are physically active, is continuing to narrow.

Figures also show an increase of 133,200 in the number of disabled people and those with long-term health conditions classed as active – the first increase in this category since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – with gym sessions showing the biggest growth. Retired people are also getting active, with retirees specifically leading to a decrease in the number of 55+ adults classed as inactive.

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