Sport England have released the latest figures for adult physical activity engagement which shows the COVID-19 pandemic led to unprecedented decreases in activity levels.
The Active Lives Adults Survey reveals that 710,000 fewer adults met the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of taking part in 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week, while there was an increase of 1.2 million adults classed as inactive – taking part in less than an average of 30 minutes a week.
With lockdown restrictions severely reducing activity options, there were big increases in running, cycling and walking. However, team sports and gym activity witnessed large drops in numbers due to social distancing restrictions.
The report also highlights the widening of inequalities among different demographics with women, young people aged 16-24, over 75s, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, and those from Black, Asian, and other minority ethnic backgrounds most adversely impacted.