New figures from Sport England show that a large proportion of people in our area are still not physically active.
Findings from the Active Lives Data published 23rd April 2020 for Northumberland, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland, show that although in some parts of our local authority areas almost seven out of ten people are meeting the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week, unfortunately in other areas, up to 31% of adults remain inactive (i.e. participate in less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week).
Since the Active Lives Survey began in November 2015, there has been a significant increase in the number of people getting active in Northumberland (an increase of 6.3%) and South Tyneside (an increase of 9.7%), whereas in other areas, it is proving to be harder to move people away from inactive lifestyles.
Nationally, activity levels were on the rise and inactivity was falling before the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. The figures show 28.6 million adults were active – i.e. doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week.
The report shows the increase in activity is being driven by rises in the numbers of women, adults aged 55+ and disabled people or people with long-term health conditions being active. However, activity levels are decreasing for young people, with most sporting activities, running, swimming and fitness activities showing a significant decline.
Also, for the first time the report shows information relating to people’s perceived loneliness and its link to physical activity, with those both volunteering and playing sport being less likely to feel lonely and reporting higher levels of happiness.
We are dedicated to helping to drive improvements in our area. We will use the Active Lives data to inform our work with our partners to tackle the complex and challenging task of reducing inactivity in order to improve the lives of people across Northumberland and Tyne & Wear.