Physical activity

The Chief Medical Officer’s report (2011) recommends that adults aged 19-64 years undertake 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. Physical activity can help reduce the risks of non-communicable or chronic diseases that negatively affect healthy life expectancy. With studies suggesting that inactive people (defined as those participating in less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per week), spend 38% more days in hospital than active people and visit the doctor almost 6% more often than active people.

The NHS Why be Active web page states that the health benefits of being physically active include:

Key findings for Lancashire-14

Estimates of physical activity levels come from national and local surveys, with the latest nationally published figures, at the time writing, coming from the Sport England Active Lives Survey (2015/16). The survey estimates that two thirds (65%) of the Lancashire-12 adult population are physically active (i.e. meeting the national guidelines of a minimum of 150 minutes moderate activity per week), in line with the national estimate of 65%. The survey also looked at physical inactivity (Adults doing less than 30 minutes moderate activity per week) and suggests that 23% of the adult population of Lancashire-12 is inactive. Which when applied to the latest population estimates (ONS Mid-Year 2016), suggests that 218,961 adults are not meeting the recommended national guidelines.

Four local authority areas (Blackpool, Burnley, Pendle and Wyre) were estimated to have both a significantly smaller proportion of physically active adults and a significantly larger proportion of inactive adults than the England average. Whilst Hyndburn has found to have significantly lower levels of physical activity uptake than England, Blackburn with Darwen and Rossendale were found to have significantly higher levels of physical inactivity.

It is recommended that children aged 5-18 should be engaging in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day. However, figures from the 2014/15 What about YOUth survey indicated that just 15.0% of young people aged 15 in Lancashire-12 met these guidelines, which whilst in line with the national average (13.9%) is not a great picture. In the neighbouring authorities, just 14.1% of children in Blackpool and 12.4% in Blackburn with Darwen are estimated to be meeting the recommended levels of physical activity. Indicating that both nationally and locally more work is needed to get children and young people active.

For further information about physical activity and healthy weight, please see the 'Healthy weight in Lancashire' report on our healthy weight page.

Page updated February 2018