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Pandemic takes expected toll on activity levels

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Posted 29th April 2021

The impact of the Covid pandemic on activity levels in South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire has been highlighted in the latest Active Lives figures, released today (April 29) by Sport England.

Both counties have seen a decrease in the number of active people during the period of November 2019-November 2020, mirroring the pattern across England, as had been expected due to the lockdowns of the last year. The number of inactive people in both counties has also increased since the results released at this time in 2020.

The majority of physically active adults in England managed to maintain their habits despite the challenges of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, according to our latest Active Lives Adult Survey, with just 710,000 fewer active adults between November 2019 and November 2020 compared to the same period 12 months previously.

However, the first eight months of coronavirus restrictions, as well as the storms that had a huge impact on outdoor activity in early 2020, also led to a worrying increase in the number of people who were inactive – doing less than 30 minutes of activity a week or nothing at all.

The report shows that while the restrictions associated with the pandemic had an unprecedented impact on activity levels, thanks in part to the support of the sport and physical activity sector, many people were able to adapt and find ways to return to activity as restrictions eased.

Not all groups or demographics were affected equally though, 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 negatively impacted beyond the initial lockdown period.

Today’s findings also show how people’s relationship with sport and physical activity changed across the various different phases of coronavirus restrictions, who returned to activity once restrictions eased, and who didn’t.

The information available will be beneficial to the sport and physical activity sector as restrictions continue to ease this summer and as the weather improves and consumer confidence increases due to the vaccine rollout.

Read the story and access the full report on the Sport England website.


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