New data released from Sport England’s Active Lives Survey today (11 April) paints an encouraging picture for physical activity and sport in London.
The overall proportion of people in London meeting the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) guidelines of at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week shows a small increase (1%) since 2015-16.
At the same time, the number of Londoners doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week has shown a small decrease (0.5%), suggesting efforts to tackle inactivity are beginning to have an impact. The increase in activity levels over the past 12 months stands at 2.2%, the largest nationwide increase during the period.
A deeper analysis of the data, though, shows that there are stark differences in participation levels across local authority areas in London.
While a number of boroughs have shown a significant increase in the number of active residents, with Kensington and Chelsea (9.2%) and Barnet (7.3%) both demonstrating marked increases since 2015-16, other areas have shown a decline in physical activity levels.
Among London’s local authorities, Islington shows the highest rates of physically active residents with a 75.2% activity rate.
City of London, Camden, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark and Wandsworth all show activity levels in excess of 70%.
London, as a whole, also continues to outperform the national average, with 64.5% of Londoners meeting CMO activity guidelines compared to 62.6% across the country.
Nationally, the research confirms that while activity levels are beginning to rise, a number of stubborn inequalities remain with people from lower socio-economic groups and women from some BAME communities still less likely to enjoy the benefits of physical activity than the national averages.
London Sport will be interrogating the data further in the coming weeks to help inform our work and the support that we provide to partners across the capital, learning from areas that have seen successes and understanding what is driving lower participation rates where they remain in evidence.
The findings were drawn from the release of Sport England’s Active Lives Survey Adult November 2017/18 Data which can be accessed here.