Sport England's Active Lives Survey measures the sport and physical activity levels of adults (aged 16+) across England. The most recent survey looked at the period November 2020-November 2021 and covers a period of varying restrictions and lockdowns. The results found no significant changes to activity levels compared to 12 months ago.

The Active Lives Survey allows us to gain a picture of what's happening in England, as well as enabling us to see how we measure up in Berkshire. The survey shows us how active people are in different areas and how these levels have changed, who within our county is not managing to be as active as we would like and how many adults are giving back to their communities by volunteering. Throughout England, less women are active than men, being inactive is more likely if you have a disability and people become less active with age.

In England, 61.4% of adults are achieving the recommended minimum 150 minutes of physical activity each week, meaning 28 million people are gaining all the amazing health benefits from being active. However there are still 12.4 million inactive adults (doing less than an average of 30 minutes per week) which is 27.2% of the population.

Numbers are still down compared to before the pandemic, with 600k (1.9%) fewer active adults meeting the Chief Medical Officer's guidelines for physical activity; before the pandemic activity levels were at 63.3% (November 2018-November 2019). There are now 1.3m (2.6%) more inactive adults than before the pandemic when they were at 24.6%.


The results for Berkshire are similar with 61.4% of people being reportedly active and 26.7% inactive. However activity levels are down 4% on the previous 12 months and there has been a 3.4% increase in inactivity. This is why the work we are doing is so vital to give everyone the opportunity to be active.

Reading tops the county as the most active area in Berkshire at 65.3% followed by Wokingham at 64.6%.

As most of us know, physical activity is so important to individuals in terms of their physical and mental health; it can decrease the risk of many chronic conditions such as cancer, stroke and type 2 diabetes and can make a positive impact upon reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as enhancing self-esteem and well-being. There are also many benefits of sport and physical activity both socially and culturally, bringing people together and creating social groups. Participation has shown to improve numeracy in children, reduce crime and strengthen community identity.

Sport England have also produced a specific Coronavirus report; if you would like to examine it, look at the latest results in more detail or find out more about the survey, visit the Sport England website. Or use the query builder to explore the results in greater detail.

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