New research from charity London Sport shows that activity levels for 38% of Londoners have been negatively affected by the cost-of-living crisis.
Two thirds of Londoners are changing their exercise behaviours, with 1 in 5 increasing use of free activities.
Crisis affecting Londoners significantly more than the rest of the UK.
LONDON, UK | The cost-of-living crisis has negatively impacted 38% of Londoners and their ability to be active, according to a new report released today.
The report, published by charity London Sport in partnership with Opinium, explores how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting activity levels and behaviours in the capital and across the country.
The group who reported the biggest effect was ethnic minority communities in London, with over half of respondents (57%) feeling a negative impact compared with 44% nationally. It is believed that some of the drivers for the capital seeing more dramatic changes compared to the rest of the country include the sharper increases to the cost of housing and real terms pay losses that the capital has seen over the last year.
Across all sub-groups, Londoners have been affected more than the rest of the nation where 25% of the population have been negatively impacted. The report also found that nearly half (48%) of Londoners with disabilities or a long-term health condition have been impacted by the crisis, compared with just 29% of the national average. It is believed that some of the drivers for the capital seeing more dramatic changes compared to the rest of the country include the sharper increases to the cost of housing and real terms pay losses.
There is also grave concern on the long-term impact that the fall in activity levels will have on the health and wellbeing of Londoners.
Gemma Curtis, London Sport’s Strategic Lead for Health said: “These results are reflective of the massive inequalities that are prevalent in the capital. Ethnic minority and disabled individuals in particular already have some of the lowest levels of activity, and this research demonstrates that these same groups are being disproportionately affected and that the cost-of-living crisis is widening the inactivity gaps in London.
“We know that 1 in 6 premature deaths are caused by inactivity, so it is vital that we address these issues now and help all Londoners reap the benefits of an active life.”
The report also examined how exercise behaviours had changed in response to rising costs. Overall, two thirds of Londoners (66%) have changed their activity habits compared to 46% across the UK. While 13% of Londoners had cancelled gym or other sport-related memberships, 1 in 5 Londoners (22%) increased their usage of free activity to stay active, including walking and running. There was also an increase in active travel, with 21% of Londoners increasing their use of walking or cycling instead of using their car.
To tackle the challenges following the pandemic and during the current cost-of-living crisis, London Sport has distributed £500k of investment to over 80 projects across the capital to provide free activity sessions to local communities.
One of these projects, London Sport’s “Space for Girls” initiative, has recently seen the transformation of an empty shopping unit in Lewisham into a new wellbeing space which provides free exercise sessions for local residents. London Sport is looking to expand this project in the coming weeks and deliver further sessions in partnership with Decathlon at their Surrey Quays Store.
The full report can be read here.
For further comment or interview opportunities, contact:
Anil Manji, Head of Marketing & Communications, London Sport | [email protected] | 07942581014
About London Sport
London Sport is a charity that exists to help all Londoners live longer, healthier and happier lives through being active.
Our focus is on children and adults in the most deprived communities who face the greatest challenges of inequality. With physical inactivity responsible for 1 in 6 premature deaths, we want to help every Londoner find their way to move more.
We are supported by Sport England and the Mayor of London, and collaborate with London’s local authorities and other organisations to provide better access to sport and physical activity across the capital.
For more information on London Sport, visit www.londonsport.org