Number of 'Inactive' people in Bedford has reduced, according to recent Active Lives Survey (May 2020 - May 2021) data

Number of 'Inactive' people in Bedford has reduced, according to recent Active Lives Survey (May 2020 - May 2021) data

Posted: Tue, 30 Nov 2021 08:08

Number of 'Inactive' people in Bedford has reduced, according to recent Active Lives Survey (May 2020 - May 2021) data

Sport England published its latest Active Lives Survey for adults at the end of October. The data for Bedfordshire reveals some significant local differences across our unitary authorities particularly when compared with the previous twelve months for the same period of the year.

Nationally the data reflects several trends that highlight significant inequalities that negatively impact upon the physical activity levels of the most deprived in our communities, several of our culturally diverse communities and females. Our recently published strategy 'Moving Forwards' Together' demonstrates our commitment to tackling the issues highlighted by this report. Clare Fitzboydon, Director of team BEDS&LUTON says:

"The results of the recent Active Lives survey provide team BEDS&LUTON with valuable insight into the challenges faced by our local population with regards to moving more. Our strategy Moving Forwards Together aims to raise the profile of physical activity as tool to improve lives and build community resilience. The data, which sits alongside our local insight gathered by the fantastic stakeholders we work with, helps us identify the challenges as well as the opportunities so that together we can influence and support the system to ensure that physical activity is part of the solution."

What is the Active Lives Survey?

The Active Lives Survey was established in 2015 to gather data surrounding how adults aged 16 and over engage with sport and physical activity.

The insight collated by Active Lives Survey is used to provide policymakers, local authorities, government departments and the entire sport and physical activity sector with the insight and knowledge into adult physical activity habits.

The latest report covers the period from mid-May 2020 to mid-May 2021, this survey provides an update on the sport and physical activity behaviours of adults (aged 16+) in England. The period includes 12 months of restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including three months of full national lockdown, six months of significant restrictions and three months of easing restrictions.

The report summarises sport and physical activity participation behaviours as 'inactive'; 'fairly active' and 'active'. The definitions are as follows:

Inactive – less than 30 minutes of moderate activity in a week.

Fairly Active – between 30 and 150 minutes of moderate activity in a week.

Active – more than 150 minutes of moderate activity in a week.

Moderate activity is defined as activity that raises the heart rate and makes your body feel warm.

Key Headlines for Bedfordshire

  • Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, overall activity levels across Bedfordshire have remained broadly stable when compared with the same period in the previous year, with a small decrease on the number of 'Fairly Active' and a slight increase in the number of 'Inactive' adults.
  • While the county-wide picture may not have changed significantly, there are some changes at a local level that are significant when compared with the previous year's Active Lives report for the same period (May-May). Headlines are as follows:
  • In Bedford, the number of 'Active' people increased from 63.5% to 65.4% and the number of 'Inactive' people reduced from 26.9% to 24.8% whilst the number of 'Fairly Active' people (30-149 minutes a week) remained the same.
  • The local picture in Luton is much more worrying as the number of 'Active' people dropped from 55.6% to 47.8%, the number of 'Fairly Active' people remaining largely unchanged (13.6% v 13.1%) the reduction in the number of 'Active' people is offset by a significant increase in the number of 'Inactive' people from 31.3% to 38.6%.
  • Central Bedfordshire meanwhile has experienced an increase in the number of 'Inactive' people from 23.7% to 25.1%, taken evenly from the number of 'Fairly Active' people (13.5% to 12.9%) and 'Active' people (62.7% to 62.0%).

Key Headlines Nationally (comparisons against the last report)

  • The number of 'Active' adults reduced slightly from 61.4% to 60.9%.
  • The number of 'Inactive' adults increased slightly from 27.1% to 27.5%
  • Only 52% of those living in areas of high deprivation are physically active compared with 71% living in England's most affluent areas.
  • 62.3% of males are active compared with 59.8% of females.
  • Only 44.9% of those living with a disability or long-term health condition are physically active compared with a national average of 60.9%. This drops to 37% for those with three or more disabilities and/or long-term health conditions.
  • The least physically active cultural demographic are female Asians (excluding Chinese) at 46% and female black at 50%.
  • The biggest growth in the type of activity is walking for leisure with a growth of 3.6million. Cycling for leisure and running or jogging have also seen significant increases although this trend started to reverse as pandemic restriction were lifted.
  • Swimming and team sport participation rates have struggled to recover as we move out of the pandemic.

Tags: Active Lives Survey, Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Luton, featured