Latest Active Lives Adult Survey highlights impact of Covid-19

Girl using Laptop

Latest Active Lives Adult Survey highlights impact of Covid-19

Posted: Tue, 26 Oct 2021 15:49

Latest Active Lives Adult Survey highlights impact of Covid-19

Sport England's latest Active Lives Adult Survey highlights the impact Covid-19 has had on activity levels throughout England, particularly across disadvantaged groups and areas of high deprivation.

The survey covers the period from mid-May 2020 to mid-May 2021, which includes periods of national and tiered restrictions introduced to counter the coronavirus pandemic.

Compared to 12 months earlier, there were 700,000 (-1.9%) fewer active adults and 1 million (+2%) more inactive adults between mid-May 2020 and mid-May 2021.

There's a clear correlation between falls in activity levels during the pandemic and restrictions, with activity levels dropping as sport and physical activity settings were closed and choice was restricted.

In mid-March to mid-May 2021, there was a partial recovery in activity levels. However, the numbers of people taking part in sport or physical activity remain 4.1% (1.6m) down compared to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 across the same time period.

There's evidence activity levels will start to go back up, but this may be impacted by the nervousness of the population, a perception of lost fitness and conditioning making a return feel difficult, and the extent to which permanent habits have been broken.

Demographic Variations:

  • Age: 16-34 age group has seen the greatest negative impact from the pandemic, with higher levels of anxiety and financial stresses and lower activity levels.
  • Gender: Both men and women recorded sharp declines in activity levels as a result of the restrictions imposed.
    • 62.3%/13.8m men were active. This was 2.3%/500,000 fewer compared to 12 months earlier
    • 59.8%/13.9m women were active. This was 1.4%/300,000 fewer compared to 12 months earlier.
  • Ethnicity: The pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black and Asian (excluding Chinese) adults, with men especially hard hit. Despite this, women of Black and Asian (excluding Chinese) ethnicities remain the least active and have the largest gender gap to males with the same ethnicity.
  • Disabled People and people with long-term health conditions: Disabled adults and people with a long-term health condition remain less likely to be active, with activity levels decreasing sharply the more impairments an individual has. This gap was narrowing prior to the pandemic, however, Covid-19 has also been difficult for this group with an overall drop of 2.1%, compared to 12 months ago.

Read the full Active Lives Survey report here.

Tags: Active Lives Adult Survey, Sport England

Active Dorset Logo
Sport England Lottery Funded Logo
Active Partnerships Logo