Just under a third of England’s population physically inactive
Dr Chris Beedie
12 November 2014
A report by ukactive which has been co-authored by Dr Chris Beedie from Aberystwyth University shows that 29% of people in England are classed as physically inactive.
In fact, the London borough of Newham which hosted the 2012 Olympics, is the least physically active place in England with 39% of residents inactive.
Dr Beedie, a reader in Sport Psychology, carried out this research with not-for-profit organisation ukactive and will present the findings at the ukactive National Summit 2014 along with Dr Justin Varney, the National Lead for Adult Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England.
ukactive found about four in every 10 adults in Newham fail to do even 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. This is despite a government pledge to use the Games to create a lasting legacy of fitness.
Overall, 29% of people in England are classed as physically inactive - doing less than 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as cycling or fast walking, a week.
Including Newham, 13 out of the 15 least active local authorities are deprived areas.
Regions with the best track records of activity tended to be more affluent - Richmond upon Thames came out top with 84% of its residents doing the minimum amount of exercise or more.
ukactive looked at 150 local authorities in England for the study. It says the results are not about good and bad in terms of performance in tackling inactivity - Newham has pledged one of the country's biggest investments, £2.1m in 2014-15.
Data shows that more than 70% of councils have raised their allocated budget on physical activity. Councils allocated 4% of their public health grant to tackling inactivity in 2014-15 compared with 2% in 2013-14.
Dr Beedie explains, “The fact that the local authority in which the Olympic Centre is located has the lowest levels of physical activity brings into stark focus the contrast between the funding of elite sport and the reality of everyday inactivity levels of a significant percentage of the population.
“The data makes it clear that all agencies involved in delivering the Olympic legacy, as well as all of those interested in wider public health, have to work harder to ensure that inactivity levels are reduced.”
The ukactive National Summit 2014 will be held all day on Thursday 13 November at the Congress Centre in London. For more information, click here.
Experts recommend adults do 150 minutes of moderate activity over the course of a week for good health.