HomeNews UKAdults’ activity levels in England bounce back to pre-pandemic levels

Adults’ activity levels in England bounce back to pre-pandemic levels

Types of activities

Today’s report also gives us a detailed understanding of the types of activities people are doing and how these have changed over time.

Team sports, which have been hit hard by the impact of Covid-19, have generally recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Football (up 561 thousand over the same period last year), cricket (up 124,000), netball (up 139 thousand) and basketball (up 57 thousand) saw an increase in the number of people join since the restrictions were lifted.

This is important because people who play team sports are more likely to say they find sports and exercise enjoyable and satisfying than those who participate in other forms of activity.

The release shows that the number of people walking for recreation – which boomed during the lockdown – has understandably fallen back but is still much higher than the pre-Covid-19 figure.

In contrast, active travel and fitness activities have fallen sharply during the pandemic but have increased significantly over the past 12 months, although both remain below pre-coronavirus levels.

In-depth analysis of the types of activities people engage in is available in this website.

demographic variation

However, while the overall picture is positive and there is clear progress, the data show that the size of the recovery varies across different segments of society with women, who belong to different socioeconomic groups. lower and blacks and Asians are still less active than others.

That is why our strategy, the Unification Movement, has a strong focus on tackling inequality and why we are investing more in the people and places that need more support.

Change with age

Age continues to be a major determinant of a person’s ability to be physically active, and the older a person is, the less likely they are to meet the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines.

However, this hides some long-term trends, and although there has been a significant recovery over the past year, today the number of active youth (aged 16-34) is almost half a million less than six years ago.

In contrast, we have seen significant progress in older adults’ activity levels before the pandemic, and these continued to increase after restrictions were lifted. There are now 1.3 million (5.0%) more active people aged 55-74 and just over half a million (7.8%) more active people aged 75+ than in November 2015-2016.

Addressing the long-term decline in youth activity levels remains our top priority, and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure services operate that appeal to the world. this young generation so that they can benefit from the profound health, social and personal benefits we have. dynamic brings.

Varies by location

Activity levels have fallen everywhere during the pandemic. However, the impact of Covid-19 on activity levels was greatest in the most deprived places (IMD 1-3).

Today’s report shows that the scale of recovery also varies according to the extent of deprivation.

Least deprived places (IMD 8-10) have fully returned to pre-pandemic levels, while moderately deprived places (IMD 4-7) have partially recovered but are still down 0.8 %. Activity levels for these locations are still higher than they were in November 2015-2016 (up 1.0%) when we started the survey.

However, the most deprived places (IMD 1-3) fared much worse, with activity levels still below pre-pandemic levels (3.1% drop) and November 2015-2016 (down 2 ,6%).

Expand our on-site work by collaborating with more locations on their local priorities and partnership opportunities, and help them use sport and physical activity to bring Getting the results they want and their communities need is an important part of our Unifying Movement strategy, and we will focus our efforts on the places most in need, where we have can make the biggest impact.

A detailed breakdown of people’s relationship to sport and physical activity and how attitudes towards it vary across different demographics is further provided at the bottom of this website.

How does this compare with our findings on children’s activity levels

Today’s report commends the Active Life Survey of Children and Young People we released in December. That report, which focuses on children’s activity levels in the 2021-22 school year, showed similar levels of pre-pandemic resumption, despite some concerns about demographic groups.


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