The highest ever levels of activity have been recorded by Sport England’s latest Active Lives Adult Survey, with 1 million more people physically active than when the survey began. Based on data gathered from 180,000 respondents (aged 16+) in the 12 months from May 2018 to May 2019, 1,015,700 more people are active compared to when the survey started, in 2015.
That takes the total number of active people – those doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week – up to 28.6 million. The number of inactive people – doing fewer than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week – is down to 11.2 million, a decrease of 131,700 since 2015 and the lowest figure ever recorded by the survey.
For women, weights, interval and gym sessions have seen a significant increase in popularity, while there are 142,000 fewer inactive women than 12 months and an additional 254,200 more active women – taking the figures to 5,948,100 and 14,103,900, respectively. While for older people, running, weight sessions and gym sessions have grown in popularity, with 100,700 fewer inactive adults aged 55+ and an additional 506,700 more active in the last 12 months – leading to totals of 5,592,400 and 9,137,800, respectively.
The report also makes clear the mental health benefits of being active. When asked to rate their mental health on a scale of 0-10, active people reported feeling:
- More satisfied with their lives
- More likely to feel the things they do in life are worthwhile
- Less anxious.
For those with a disability or long-term health conditions there has been an increase in activity levels and decrease in inactivity levels over the 12 months to May 2019, with 216,300 more active and 107,800 fewer inactive.