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In the latest Active Lives Adult Survey published by Sport England, key findings shed light on the significant impact of various factors on individuals’ likelihood to engage in sport and physical activity. The report underscores the existence of longstanding inequalities, with demographics such as age, sex, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, disability, and geographic location all playing a role in shaping individuals’ relationships with physical activity. 

At Intelligent Health, we welcome the findings of the report, which shows trends of physical activity improvement across the country. We are proud to be a system partner with Sport England and to be working collaboratively with the sector towards increasing physical activity levels, addressing inequalities and promoting active lifestyles to all communities.  

The survey findings highlight the importance of active travel and fitness activities, which were significantly impacted by the pandemic, continue to recover as over a million more adults (+2.1%) have walked or cycled for travel and 802,000 (+1.5%) more have taken part in fitness activities compared to 12 months ago.  

We are pleased to see that the Adult Active Lives Survey report highlights the importance of addressing disparities in physical activity levels based on factors such as deprivation. At Intelligent Health, we are committed to supporting local communities, particularly those with higher levels of deprivation, through our flagship place-based tool: Beat the Street.  

 Beat the Street allows us to partner with organisations and community groups in a place, where we can create opportunities for individuals in underserved communities to engage in physical activity and improve their overall health and wellbeing in a fun way that brings people together. 

We looked at the change in the proportion of people who were inactive before and after Beat the Street across all the 32 games that took place in 2022 and 2023. We were able to include a large and robust sample of 10,314 matched pairs, the same people completing surveys before and after a game. Overall, we saw an 8.2% reduction in the proportion of people who were inactive after Beat the Street. We also found that there were greater reductions of 15.1% for people with a disability, and 10.9% for those with a long-term health condition and 9.2% for people living in the 40% most deprived communities.  

By targeting areas with higher levels of deprivation and implementing strategies to increase access to sport and physical activity, we are working towards a more active and inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to lead a healthy lifestyle. Our dedication to this cause aligns with the broader goals of Sport England’s Uniting the Movement strategy seeking to tackle longstanding disparities and promote active lifestyles across communities. We are honoured to be contributing to positive change, working towards improving health outcomes and making a meaningful impact in the communities we serve. 

We believe that promoting active travel and creating opportunities for physical activity in these communities is crucial for improving overall health outcomes and reducing inequalities. Addressing physical inactivity requires population level action, and walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. In our long-standing commitment to help elevate physical activity across the UK, we called for a cross-departmental approach in making places more walkable in our ‘Routes to Roots’ manifesto. This included asks for six Government Departments, with key policy interventions to each. Recommendations focussed around enhanced street safety, encouraging civic engagement, measuring population wellbeing, improving greenspaces and increasing accessibility in schools. Read Routes to Roots in full here. 

We look forward to continuing our work with Sport England and partners like the Canal and River Trust, Active Partners Network, Youth Sport Trust, Rounders England and more to help more people lead active and healthy lifestyles. Together, we can work towards a future where everyone has equal access to physical activity opportunities, leading to improved overall wellbeing for all. Underpinning all of this, we want to  empower those facing inequalities to become more active and connected with where they live so that people who live in areas of the greatest need feel able to make change; so that women can be as active as men, and that it is a children’s right to be active every day.  

We will continue to provide relevant news updates throughout the year, if you have not done so already, please sign up to our Partner Newsletter to receive quarterly updates directly to your inbox.