Sport England announce increase in physical activity levels across Suffolk

Sport England announce increase in physical activity levels across Suffolk

Posted: Mon, 04 Nov 2019 15:30

Sport England announce increase in physical activity levels across Suffolk

The Active Lives survey, published by Sport England has been well received by sport and physical activity advocates across Suffolk this month, where it reports positive shifts in physical activity levels across the county.

The Active Lives survey, led by Sport England measures the level of physical activity amongst a randomly selected cohort of adults living in England twice each year. The results provide local authorities with a comprehensive report detailing how active the nation's adults are, linking to participation in sport and physical activity.

The importance of physical activity is something we are regularly reminded of, particularly over recent years where it has been revealed by Public Health England that low physical activity levels across England is one of the country's top 10 causes of disease and disability, increasing the risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes, dementia and depression. In an attempt to tackle this, the current guidelines recommend that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week and/ or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week, which is one of the measures in the Active Lives survey.

Overall, the Active Lives report released this month shows the highest levels of activity in England, with 1 million more people physically active than when the survey began back in 2015/16. Meanwhile, the local insight reveals that 7,300 more adults are physically active – achieving the recommendation of 150 minutes moderate intensity physical activity each week. That means around 387,100 Suffolk adults are achieving the Chief Medical Officer's recommended levels of physical activity. When broken down by district, the report indicates that West Suffolk are among the best in the East of England for achieving 150 minutes or more of exercise a week.

In addition, the number of inactive people in Suffolk – those doing fewer than 30 minutes moderate intensity physical activity per week – is down to 158,800, a decrease of 2,400 adults in the last year.

Despite these positive results, there is still room for improvement and local partners are working tirelessly on plans to increase Suffolk's overall activity levels to above that of the National average, helping to make it England's Most Active County.

John Clough, Director of Active Suffolk, said "These results represent good progress and reflect the hard work of many organisations and individuals working to encourage more people to increase their physical activity levels. However, there remains much to do as Suffolk's activity levels still sit below the national average. Hopefully these figures will act as a catalyst and we can support even more people in the future to take their first steps towards an active lifestyle."

Sport England also lead on an Active Lives survey for young people across the country, where results are currently being collated. The importance of encouraging young people to engage in physical activity is something which is being embedded within schools across the county. Through Suffolk's Most Active County Programme and Active Suffolk's funded Active Schools programme, more than 75 schools are now signed up to the Daily Mile initiative.

Suffolk is also fortunate to play host to a large-scale sporting events programme incorporating events such as the Women's Tour, as well as mass participation events like the Suffolk Walking Festival, Great East Swim and the Great East Run. Suffolk County Council also commissions the OneLife Suffolk Get Help to Get Active Service, which supports people with long term conditions to be active, and an extensive health walks programme, all of which support local people to incorporate physical activity in their lifestyle which impact on results like those highlighted in this month's Active Lives survey.

Cllr James Reeder, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention, said: "We are delighted to see this positive increase in activity levels in Suffolk and would like to express our gratitude to the many organisations across the county who are working proactively and collaboratively to engage people in physical activity.

"Through the Most Active County partnership we are striving to reduce inactivity levels in Suffolk because we know that physical activity has the potential to provide significant benefits for both the individual and the Suffolk 'system' long in to the future.

"Earlier this year, we launched the first Move Suffolk Week, which encouraged people to try something new, and incorporate physical activity into their daily routine. Our current Suffolk How Are You campaign, provides useful tips to help people Move More for better mood and wellbeing.

"However, we also recognise that there is much more to be done and it is important that everybody makes it as easy as possible for people to lead healthy, active lifestyles."

To find activities near you such as free weekly running events and Health Walks, along with useful apps to help you stay active, visit www.suffolkhowareyou.co.uk and to read the summary of Suffolk's Active Lives survey results, log on to www.activesuffolk.org/active-lives-survey

If you are interested in reading the full Active Lives report, produced by Sport England log on to: https://www.sportengland.org/media/14239/active-lives-adult-may-18-19-report.pdf

Tags: 150 active minutes, Active Lives, Community, Funding, Sport England, Suffolk, physical activity