Sport England's Active Lives Survey measures the sport and physical activity levels of adults (aged 16+) across England. The last survey looked at the period May 2017-May 2018.
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 provides reports showing 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, 62.3% of adults are achieving the recommended minimum 150 minutes of physical activity each week and gaining all the amazing health benefits from it. In Berkshire we're doing even better than that, with nearly 65% of us being active and this has increased from just over 64% in 2015-16. Wokingham tops the county as the most active area in the county and West Berkshire has had the greatest reduction in inactivity since the 2015/16 report, meaning over 5,500 people are now more active than they were 3 years ago.
However, the survey does show that 23% of people in our communities in Berkshire are not doing any, or enough, sport and physical activity, which is why the work that Get Berkshire Active does is so important. Slough in particular needs our help; over a third of residents in this area are considered to be inactive but overall across the county, nearly 250,000 people are not achieving the target of 150 minutes of physical activity weekly. Across Berkshire, activity decreases with age and participation in physical activity is lower for those with a disability. Men are generally more active than women, although in West Berkshire and Bracknell Forest the opposite is true.
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 also found that as of 2010, sport and related activities contributed over £20 billion to the English economy and made a significant impact contribution to employment.
To find out more about Sport England's vision to get more people engaged in sport and physical activity have a look at their strategy 'Towards and Active Nation'.
If you would like to examine the results in more detail and to find out more about the survey, visit Sport England website.