Since baseline data was collected in 2016, Bradford has steadily been getting more active.
This is in line with the national trend with 1,015,700 more people across the country enjoying the benefits of moving more.
Nationally, the number of people who do less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day is at its lowest ever recorded, decreasing by 113,700 people over the last 3 years.
In Bradford, there has been a significant increase in the number of people who are active. This is testament to the providers and organisations who are working together to ensure people are supported to be as active as they want to be.
Gillian Brown, Development Manager for Active Bradford doesn’t see this as ‘job done’ though.
“It is great to see that levels of inactivity are decreasing year on year in Bradford. Although still below the national average, things are moving in the right direction. However, we should not get complacent. We need to continue to tackle levels of physical activity as we know that there is still a huge gap between the levels of activity in affluent areas compared to less affluent areas. We know there is a significant difference in activity levels when we take into account gender and ethnicity with South Asian females the least active group.
“There is more to do, but it is reassuring to know that the work taking place across Bradford is starting to have an impact.
“Active Bradford’s vision is for a healthy and prosperous Bradford where everyone chooses to make physical activity and sport an everyday part of their lives and we will continue to work with partners to help us achieve this vision.”
You can view the full report here.
The results show that the improvement nationally has been driven by women and older adults (aged 55+) – groups that Sport England have focused on in the Towards an Active Nation strategy, with campaigns such at This Girl Can, a £10 million fund for projects that support people aged 55+ to get active and by supporting new opportunities for running such as a £3 million investment into parkrun.
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.
However, they are still twice as likely to be inactive than people without a condition or disability, so work continues to support and inspire people into physical activity – such as the new We Are Undefeatable campaign, led by 15 of the leading health and social care charities and backed with National Lottery funding.
Other notable findings from the report show:
- People who are less affluent are the most likely to be inactive (33%) and the least likely to be active (54%) compared to those who are the most well-off – who are 16% inactive and 72% active.
- A complex backdrop of economic and health inequalities magnifies the impact of barriers to getting active felt by all, such as confidence or knowing where to go, through to cost, lack of time and appropriate opportunity.
- Walking for leisure or travel remains the most popular activity, with 477,800 more people walking for travel (15,247,600 in total) and 514,000 more walking for leisure (19,162,200).
- Fitness activities are becoming even more popular, especially for women and those in older groups, with 398,000 more people taking part (13,766,300 in total). Weight sessions are increasingly popular, with this type of fitness being easily adapted for different groups, e.g. strength and balance for older people.
- Yoga and Pilates continue to grow in popularity.
- Racket sports continue to decrease in popularity with 111,400 fewer people taking part.
- Netball enjoyed a growth in popularity with 50,200 more people taking part (319,400 in total), with a diverse audience of younger and older women attracted through grassroots programmes like Back to Netball.
Nigel Adams, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, added: “Every single person in this country should have the opportunity to take part in sport and activity. It is not only good for our physical health but it also boosts our mental wellbeing and makes people happier.
“Sport England is rightly focusing on further increasing participation so that people from all backgrounds can get, and enjoy being active.”
The Active Lives Adult Survey is conducted by Ipsos Mori.
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