Active Lives Survey findings
Posted: Mon, 06 Jun 2022 11:17
People are returning to sport and physical activity but opportunities remain unequal, latest data finds.
Sport England conduct an Active Lives Adult survey twice a year, and an annual Children and Young people survey to get a comprehensive view of how people are getting active.
Active Lives Adult findings
While, nationally, numbers are still down compared to pre-pandemic levels, with 1.9% fewer active adults and 2.6% more inactive adults, the slight recovery since restrictions have eased is a testament to the work and investment that went into helping people stay active during a period of unprecedented restrictions.
In Bradford 56.8% of adults achieved the recommended 150+ minutes of activity per week between November 2020 and November 2021, which is lower than the national average of 61.4%. There are also a higher percentage of people who are inactive in Bradford. What is also evident, is the very slight increase of people who undertake between 30 - 149 minutes of activity per week, in the district.
Whilst the overall report is positive, it has highlighted worrying widening inequalities with different groups of people.
Activity levels in all socio-economic groups have seen a drop since the start of the pandemic, which was to be expected given the restrictions in place. However the recovery is not as great amongst the least affluent. Since July 2021 the least affluent groups have not recorded any further recovery of activity levels but the most affluent groups have seen activity levels return to pre-pandemic levels. (National data.)
Also, activity levels for young people, aged 16-34, were falling before the pandemic. The pandemic has accelerated this with 607,000 fewer active young people compared to Nov 18-19. Over the last five years this represents nearly a million fewer active young people as other priorities increasingly fill their lives be that technology or busy lifestyles.
All ethnicities are consistent with overall picture but drops are larger for Asian (excluding Chinese) and adults from other ethnic groups.
Find out more about the Active Lives Adult report: https://www.sportengland.org/news/activity-levels-see-partial-recovery-covid-19
Active Lives Children and Young People findings
Survey data is taken from a selected number of schools for any given year. This report covers from September 2020 - July 2021.
The report shows that nationally, while there's been no overall decrease in activity levels compared to the previous academic year, existing inequalities have widened while enjoyment and confidence in taking part are down, and there are new short-term issues that need to be considered so they don't become long-term trends.
In Bradford this year, despite the varying restrictions, we have seen an increase in the number of children who are active - even by a small amount of minutes per day. This positive news must however be met with caution as there is a trend towards less affluent and children from certain demographic groups being lesser active than pre-pandemic levels.
Another concerning piece of evidence from the report is that children and young people reported fewer positive attitudes towards sport and physical activity over the 2020-21 academic year, with enjoyment and confidence in taking part seeing significant drops – two of the five components defining physical literacy (competence, understanding and knowledge being the others).
This is important since children and young people with higher levels of physical literacy are much more likely to be active compared to those with lower levels.
If positive attitudes and physical literacy levels don't increase, there's a likelihood the next generation will be less active, leading to poorer health and wellbeing outcomes.
Therefore, in recent months Sport England have called for a collective and immediate effort to increase physical literacy levels, with providers focused on giving all children and young people positive experiences based on fun and building confidence.
Find out more about the Active Lives Children survey: https://www.sportengland.org/news/coronavirus-challenges-highlight-importance-physical-activity-and-sport-children