“No significant change in latest survey but 11,300 more people active compared with 2015”

 Despite the highest ever levels of activity recorded across England, the picture in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is not significantly different from previously according to the latest Active Lives Adult Survey in the 12 months to November 2019.

Across our county, 11,300 more people are now active compared with four years ago when the Active Lives Survey was started, based on data gathered from over 3,000 respondents (aged 16+). Although marginally down (-2,000) on last year, the total number of active adults (433,300) – those doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week – has remained between 63% and 64% of the population of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

A quarter (24%) of the adult population of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough remains inactive – those doing fewer than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week – a proportion that has not changed since last year (2017/18) or since baseline (2015/16).

Living Sport, working with partners across the county, have a number of projects underway to help improve levels of physical activity further, and the associated mental health benefits of being active: Let’s Get Moving Cambridgeshire, Active Families and Active New Communities (three large-scale programmes led by Living Sport) are supporting and inspiring people to be more physically active.

Although more detailed results for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are not yet available, national results show that improvements across England have been driven by women, adults aged 55+ and disabled people or people with long-term health conditions.

The national report shows the link between activity levels, volunteering, and mental wellbeing and individual & community development. Active people, and those who volunteer, reported feeling:

  • More satisfied with their lives
  • Happier
  • More likely to feel the things they do in life are worthwhile
  • Less anxious
  • More likely to feel they can trust others
  • More likely to feel they can achieve their goals and/or keep trying when things get difficult
  • Less likely to feel lonely

The national report also reported a continuing difference in activity levels for certain groups:

  • adults from lower socio-economic groups are 18% less likely to be active than the most affluent families
  • activity levels for White British adults are showing a steady increase but for most ethnic backgrounds there’s an underlying flat trend. At the lowest end, only half (54%) of Asian (excluding Chinese) adults are active, figures which are influenced by gender with females much less active

Lisa O’Keefe, Director of Insight at Sport England, says: “Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results show active people are less likely to feel lonely than inactive people, an important message to reinforce in this most difficult of times”. Here she refers to the current Covid-19 pandemic that has the nation on lockdown with strict social distancing guidelines being enforced.

Simon Fairhall, Chief Executive of Living Sport, added: “With the underlying flat trend we are seeing across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, it is crucial we continue to work closely with our partners to provide opportunities for people from all walks of life to become more active to benefit their health”.

Find out how you can get involved by getting in touch.